The Brandon Wheat Kings didn’t have an answer for the Regina Pats’ top line on Monday afternoon in the Western Hockey League.
But it was a span of just over four minutes early in the third period that really proved their undoing in a 5-1 loss in Regina, according to Wheat Kings head coach/general manager Kelly McCrimmon.
The Pats held a slim 2-1 lead through two periods, but pulled away by scoring three straight goals in a span of 4:05.
"We had six shots against in the first and seven shots against in the second, so I think defensively I thought we were real solid," McCrimmon said. "But in the third period, we just didn’t respond well when we gave up the third goal."
Dyson Stevenson, who opened the scoring in the first period, struck again with two more in the third to complete his hat trick. Combined with linemates Morgan Klimchuk (one goal, three assists) and Chandler Stephenson (three assists), the powerful Pats trio racked up 10 points on the day.
Jens Meilleur scored Brandon’s lone goal, snapping an eight-game pointless skid since scoring in the Wheat Kings’ season opener.
A punchless power play didn’t help as Brandon went 0-for-4, while Regina was 1-for-2.
"I thought we could have helped ourselves on the power play when we got the first three opportunities of the game." McCrimmon said. "... I think one thing that continues to play against us is missing the net on opportunities and with that you lose the ability to get a second chance. If I was to look at concerns I’ve seen over a more extended period, not hitting the net, as simple as that sounds, I think it’s really been a problem for our team."
Connor Gay scored the other goal for the Pats, who have won four straight to improve to 5-5-0-0. The Wheat Kings, who are now 1-3 on the road so far this season, slipped to 5-5-0-0.
Wheat Kings netminder Curtis Honey made 21 saves, while Dawson MacAuley stopped 27 shots for the Pats.
The Wheat Kings return to action Wednesday night when they travel to Moose Jaw, Sask., to face the Warriors (4-5-0-2).
ICINGS: D Taylor Green and C Quintin Lisoway were both back in Brandon’s lineup yesterday after sitting out a game, while RW Jack Palmer (undisclosed upper-body injury), LW Brett Kitt, LW Braylon Shmyr, D Kord Pankewicz and D Dominic Thom were healthy scratches ... Wheat Kings captain Ryan Pulock played in his 200th career WHL game on Monday ... Russell native Rylee Zimmer, 16, suited up for the Pats, while former Wheat King Geordie Maguire sat out his third game in a row ... The WHL overage deadline is today, but with not a single team having more than the limit of three 20-year-olds, it could be one of the quietest deadline days in years ... The last home game of the month for Brandon is this Saturday night when the Wheat Kings will wear special ‘Pink the Rink’ jerseys in support of the Canadian Cancer Society as they host the Medicine Hat Tigers at Westman Place.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 15, 2013