The Brandon Wheat Kings earned a spot in the Saskatoon Blades’ record book that they’d rather not have.
The Blades set a new franchise record with their 14th straight win, beating the Wheat Kings 7-4 Friday in Saskatoon.
Matej Stransky scored three of the Blades’ four first-period goals as the Western Hockey League’s East Division leaders built up an advantage that was too much for the Wheat Kings to overcome.
The Wheat Kings (21-36-3-2) did battle back by outscoring the Blades (37-21-0-3) by a margin of 3-1 in the second period, but they were unable to cut the lead to less than two goals.
"We’ve got to realize the situation that there was two periods left of hockey," Wheat Kings head coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk said. "We can’t just think the game’s over with. We’ve got to use the situation to push back, to create opportunities, and I thought the guys did a good job in the second period (but) we didn’t generate enough to get on top, to get it tied up and it’s disappointing."
Stransky also had an assist for a four-point game, while former Wheat King Brenden Walker scored a goal and set up two others. Defenceman Darren Dietz had two goals — one on a short-handed breakaway — while a Josh Nicholls empty-netter rounded out the Saskatoon scoring.
Chad Robinson had a short-handed goal and an assist for the Wheat Kings, while Taylor Cooper scored on a breakaway and also had a helper. Eric Roy and Jens Meilleur scored the other goals in Brandon’s third straight loss.
Goaltender Corbin Boes, out since Jan. 25 due to a knee injury, returned to the Brandon lineup as Curtis Honey’s backup, but was thrown into action after the Blades’ fourth goal, in the final minute of the first period. Boes stopped 25 of 27 shots the rest of the way, while Honey made 12 saves on 16 shots.
"I thought Corbin came in and did really well," Gylywoychuk said. "I thought he gave us an opportunity to at least get our head around things and give ourselves a chance. He made some big saves, you could tell he got more comfortable as the game went on and it’s good to have him back."
The Wheat Kings visit the Swift Current Broncos on Sunday (6:35 p.m., CKLQ).
ONE-TIMERS: Brandon went 1-for-2 on the power play, while Saskatoon was 1-for-4 … Blades G Andrey Makaraov made 25 saves … Saskatoon LW Mike Ferland, a former Wheat King from Brandon, missed the game after being handed a one-game suspension for a cross-check late in the Blades’ 5-1 win over Moose Jaw on Wednesday … Walters will face a league review for his head check on Saskatoon C Shane McColgan, who had the first of two assists on the night during the penalty … The Wheat Kings scratched LW/RW Richard Nejezchleb (hand, two weeks), C Tyrel Seaman (concussion, indefinite) and LW Geordie Maguire … Brandon D Ryan Pulock is rated 16th for this year’s NHL draft in the latest edition of the Red Line Report. D Eric Roy is ranked 82nd, while C Tim McGauley has entered the rankings at 240th.