Brandon Wheat Kings Tim McGauley chases after Regina Pats Morgan Klimchuk during Saturday night’s WHL game at Westman Place. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
The Brandon Wheat Kings got one more wake-up call when what they needed was two points.
The Wheat Kings blew a 3-1 lead and lost 7-3 to the Regina Pats Saturday night at Westman Place and now have last place in the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Conference all to themselves.
Up 3-1 in the second period after power-play goals 47 seconds apart by Eric Roy and Ryan Pulock, the Wheat Kings (20-33-2-2) coughed up the lead before the second intermission and gave up four more counters in the third.
"We needed those two points, it’s a team we’re trying to catch," said Roy who scored twice but still saw his team fall two points behind the Pats in the standings. "We tried to pass them (Saturday). I think we just got away from the basic things. We just tried to do too much (individually), one-on-ones and what-not and it’s an unfortunate result, very disappointing."
Pulock felt the Wheat Kings got overconfident after the power-play goals and waited for the Pats to fold, which never happened, dealing a huge blow to Brandon’s already slender playoff chances.
"It’s a little late in the season to be doing that," the Brandon captain said. "But I guess guys better definitely learn from that."
Lane Scheidl scored the two goals that erased the Brandon lead and added an assist. Braden Christoffer also scored twice, while Dyson Stevenson, Morgan Klimchuk and Adam Brooks had the other goals for the Pats (20-30-3-3).
Even after Scheidl tied the game with 20 seconds left to play in the second period, Wheat Kings head coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk felt his team —which outshot the Pats 14-7 in the second period — was in fair shape. But Brandon managed only six shots to Regina’s 15 in the third period, surrendering the winning goal to Stevenson 7:02 into the frame, and the game spiralled out of control from there.
"I didn’t think that we jumped on the opportunity (to start the third period), jumped on the moment where we were still OK," said Gylywoychuk, whose club is 2-2 on a seven-game homestand that continues Wednesday (7 p.m., Westman Place) against the Medicine Hat Tigers. "I thought we were still the better team at that point and we had an opportunity to take the game over … and we backed off."
ONE-TIMERS: Rookie Brandon C Jayce Hawryluk had two assists to stretch his point-scoring streak to six games (five goals, six assists), including five straight two-point outings … Wheat Kings G Curtis Honey stopped 21 of 27 shots before being replaced by midget call-up Jordan Papirny, who stopped two of the three he faced including a breakaway by Pats C Chandler Stephenson … Brandon was 2-for-6 on the power play, while Regina was 0-for-1 … Brandon scratched D Tyler Yaworski (Game 3 of six-game suspension), G Corbin Boes (knee, indefinite), LW/ RW Richard Nejezchleb (hand, indefinite) and C Tyrel Seaman (concussion, indefinite).
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 11, 2013