Brandon’s Josh Kobelka looks for an opening in the Yellowhead defence. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
With the Brandon Midget AAA Wheat Kings lacking a spark against the Yellowhead Chiefs Friday night at the Sportsplex, Jordan McCausland gave them one.
McCausland scored four goals as the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League’s first-place team earned its 17th win in a row, topping the Chiefs 6-2.
"We just kinda stuck with the program and no one really quit early," McCausland said. "We kept going and got the job done."
Ty Lewis had a goal and an assist, while Coltyn Bates rounded out the scoring for the Wheat Kings (26-2-0). Tanner Koroscil had a goal and an assist for the Chiefs (13-13-1), who got their other marker from Morgan Geekie.
The Chiefs took a 1-0 lead out of the first period, with Koroscil scoring with only one second remaining on a power play. In the second frame, the Wheat Kings found their game and took advantage of a series of Yellowhead minors that allowed Brandon to grab tight hold of the momentum, outshooting the Chiefs 26-4 and scoring four times in the frame.
"I thought we had a real good work ethic in the first period," Chiefs head coach Chad Facey said. "We maybe let our foot off the gas a little bit in the second period and Brandon came on strong in the second period. Our guys battled hard and just bounces seemed to kind of go their way, and they capitalized on some opportunities."
McCausland got Brandon on the board shortly after a Yellowhead penalty expired, then put the Wheat Kings ahead on a power play.
While McCausland’s goals were key, Wheat Kings head coach Ken Schneider pointed to a hit by the 16-year-old forward late in the first period that seemed to shake Brandon out of its lull.
"I really liked the hit that McCausland got on the forecheck, a good clean check, and he’s been working hard the last couple weeks," Schneider said. "He’d just kind of come off an ankle injury, and he’s playing some of his best hockey, so we were pleased for Jordan that he got rewarded for his hard work tonight."
Lewis made the score 3-1 only nine seconds after the Wheat Kings’ second marker, then McCausland completed his hat trick with just five seconds left in the period. Bates and Geekie traded goals in the third before Lewis set up McCausland for his fourth goal of the night.
Both teams wrap up their pre-Christmas schedules tonight. The Wheat Kings welcome the Southwest Cougars to the Sportsplex, while the Chiefs host the Interlake Lightning in Shoal Lake, with both games starting at 7:30.
NOTES: Chiefs forward Logan Robinson was injured on a hit in the third period and was taken to hospital. There was no word on his condition as of press time.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 21, 2013