For the second straight game, Jayce Hawryluk lit it up for the Brandon Wheat Kings as they closed out their West Coast road trip with a 6-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon.
Hawryluk, who had three goals and an assist in Brandon’s 6-3 Western Hockey League win over Everett late Friday night, followed up that performance with another hat trick and a helper on Sunday to lead the Wheaties back to .500 as they return home.
"He scored nice goals," Wheat Kings head coach/general manager Kelly McCrimmon said after Sunday’s game.
"Lots of competitiveness to his game and good skill. The last two games he scored six goals a lot of different ways and he's definitely much more focused and on track."
Despite playing a fourth road game in six days, the Wheat Kings (9-9-0-0) came out with a decent amount of energy on Sunday and never played from behind.
Hawryluk opened the scoring 2:48 into the game when he came out of the penalty box and beat Lethbridge netminder Corbin Boes, who the Wheaties sent to the Hurricanes during the bantam draft, five hole.
Brady Ramsay tied things up for Lethbridge (2-13-1-2) later in the frame, but Richard Nejezchleb replied 17 seconds later for Brandon. Nejezchleb then snapped a shot short side past Boes early in the second on a three-on-two rush for the game-winner.
Hawryluk added markers in the second and third and also set up John Quenneville’s third-period goal.
Tyler Wong netted Lethbridge’s other goal.
Boes made 27 saves in the game, while Jordan Papirny, who was making his second straight start for Brandon, stopped 33 of the 35 shots he faced.
McCrimmon liked the effort he saw from his team in the sixth and final game of the tough road swing, and he knows just how important it was to win the final two contests of the trip.
"It allowed us to salvage the trip," he said. "We come home 2-4, which is less than .500 which you hope for with any road travel, but it was much better than 1-5. It was a win that was pretty helpful in salvaging our trip."
The Wheat Kings now have some time to rest up before they host the Saskatoon Blades on Thursday at 7 p.m.
ICINGS: Both teams were 0-for-4 on the power play … Jens Meilleur moved to the blue-line for the second straight game with Brandon D Rene Hunter, D Kord Pankewicz out with upper body injuries. … G Curtis Honey also has an upper body ailment and didn’t dress. LW Tyler Coulter and LW Braylon Shmyr were healthy scratches … Ten Wheat Kings will be growing moustaches as part of the Movember campaign to raise money for prostate cancer research. The team will also have a Tip a Wheat King Night at Applebee’s on Nov. 27.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition November 4, 2013