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Honey keeps Wheat Kings perfect against Warriors

In his return to the starting lineup, Curtis Honey gave the Brandon Wheat Kings just what they needed to continue their mastery of the Moose Jaw Warriors.

Making his first start since being injured on Oct. 30, Honey stopped 29 shots to lead the Wheat Kings to a 3-1 road win over the Warriors on Saturday in the Western Hockey League, improving Brandon's record to 6-0 against Moose Jaw this season. Listless for much of the game, the Wheat Kings likely would not have had a chance to take the upper hand in the third period if it wasn't for Honey's play over the first two frames.

"We were slow, I thought, through all of the first and most of the second, and our goaltender was real good and kept us in the game," Wheat Kings head coach/general manager Kelly McCrimmon said. "We got a big goal from our fourth line, with Eric Roy scoring to tie the game, and then … I thought we played much better in third to earn the win."

Quintin Lisoway scored the winning goal in the third period for the Wheat Kings (16-14-2-0), with Tyler Coulter adding an empty-netter. Brett Kitt assisted on two goals, including the winner, as Brandon moved into a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference with the Kootenay Ice.

Outshot 10-3 in the first frame, the Wheat Kings leaned heavily on Honey, who a perfect third period in Friday's 4-3 loss to the Swift Current Broncos, to keep the game scoreless going into the second. In the middle period, Reid Zalitach stole a puck in the neutral zone and blasted a slap shot past Honey to give the Warriors (8-19-3-3) the lead. Defenceman Roy tied the game later in the second period, joining the rush and redirecting Kitt's centring pass into the net. A little more than five minutes into the third, Lisoway took a pass from Ryley Lindgren and scored his first goal of the season, beating Moose Jaw goalie Zachary Sawchenko from the left faceoff dot.

McCrimmon said the fourth line of Lisoway, Kitt and Lindgren provided a key spark to a team that was missing top scorer Jayce Hawryluk, who completed a two-game suspension on Saturday.

"They were a big part of the win and contributed offensively," McCrimmon said. "When you're missing your top scorer, you need other players to step up and produce."

The Wheat Kings faced one more major barrier, having to kill a penalty late in the third period to preserve their one-goal lead, before Coulter, who like Kitt and Lindgren is a rookie, added the insurance marker into the empty net.

ONE-TIMERS: Sawchenko stopped 23 shots … Both of Coulter's goals have come in Moose Jaw, Sask. … The Wheat Kings were 0-for-4 on the power play, but successfully killed all three of the Warriors' chances … Saturday's meeting was the Wheat Kings' last road game against the Warriors this season, with Brandon going 4-0 in Moose Jaw … Wheat Kings C John Quenneville had a six-game point-scoring streak snapped, while C Tim McGauley, RW Peter Quenneville and LW Rihards Bukarts — who had goals in three straight games — all had three-game streaks broken … Hawryluk will be eligible to return to the lineup on Tuesday when Brandon hosts the Kamloops Blazers … D Taylor Green and LW Braylon Shmyr joined Hawryluk as scratches … Zalitach's first WHL goal kicked off the festivities for the Warriors' Teddy Bear Toss. The Wheat Kings will hold their Teddy Bear Toss on Friday, when they host the Kelowna Rockets.

» rhenders@brandonsun.com

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