Curtis Honey was back in the net and back on his game on Saturday night.
Making his first start in more than five weeks, the veteran goaltender made 29 saves as the Brandon Wheat Kings came from behind for a 3-1 road win over the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Injured in a game on Oct. 30 against the Portland Winterhawks, Honey returned to action with a perfect third period in Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Swift Current Broncos, and maintained his play through Saturday’s game, keeping the Wheat Kings close despite a slow start by the team.
"He was real good. He made some great saves throughout the night," Wheat Kings head coach/general manager Kelly McCrimmon said. "Moose Jaw, I thought, were better than us for 40 minutes, and because of Curtis, the game was still up for grabs."
Eric Roy, Quintin Lisoway and Tyler Coulter, with an empty-netter, scored as the Wheat Kings (16-14-2-0) moved into a tie for seventh place in the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Conference, with the Kootenay Ice. Needing offence with top scorer Jayce Hawryluk suspended, Brandon got its first two goals from its fourth line of Lisoway, Brett Kitt (two assists) and Ryley Lindgren (one assist).
Reid Zalitach scored for the Warriors (8-19-3-3).
In Honey’s absence, the Wheat Kings were forced to overwork Jordan Papirny, giving him 15 straight starts. The No.1 goalie at the time of his injury, Honey’s impact was felt early in Saturday’s game as he denied a pair of breakaways in the first period, when Brandon was outshot 10-3.
Zalitach opened the scoring in the second period, but Roy gave the Wheat Kings a boost, tying the score later in the frame before Lisoway netted the winner in the third.
The Wheat Kings are 6-0 against the Warriors this season and played their last road game in Moose Jaw, Sask., where Brandon posted a 4-0 mark. It was also the Wheat Kings’ final road game of the first half, leaving them with three home dates this week before the Christmas break.
"Tonight marks the halfway point of our road schedule; we’ve played 18 games on the road now," McCrimmon said. "We’re 8-9-1, so pretty close to where you set your goals for your road record, and now looking forward to finishing off here on home ice until Christmas."
ONE-TIMERS: Warriors G Zachary Sawchenko stopped 23 shots … Both of Coulter's goals in his rookie season have come in Moose Jaw … The Wheat Kings were 0-for-4 on the power play, but successfully killed all three of the Warriors' chances, including one late in the third period … Brandon 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 return from his two-game suspension on Tuesday when the Wheat Kings host 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.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 9, 2013