Brandon Wheat Kings head coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk was disappointed with his team’s most recent Western Hockey League road swing, but he was happy with the ending.
The Wheaties (10-11-2-1) snapped a four-game losing skid with a 5-3 win over the host Lethbridge Hurricanes (13-10-1-1) Sunday, giving them a 1-2 record on their three-games in three-nights road swing to Kootenay and Lethbridge. Gylywoychuk wanted a better trip, but he was happy to avoid being shutout during the weekend.
"It was good to see the guys step up and it was a team effort top to bottom," he said. "And we got two points going home now and it ends our losing streak and now we can have a good week of practice."
Brandon played without Swiss forward Alessio Bertaggia, who is suffering from a lower body injury. John Quenneville joined Jayce Hawryluk and Tim McGauley on the third line and it paid off.
Quenneville provided the Wheat Kings’ opening goal midway through the first period and the go-ahead goal in the second that gave Brandon a 3-2 advantage. Hawryluk netted his sixth of the season four minutes earlier to tie the game.
"Johnny did a good job," Gylywoychuk said. "… Johnny stepped up and didn't miss a beat and he was rewarded with his effort and scored two big goals for the team."
Jack Palmer scored his first-career WHL goal on the power play when he put an Ayrton Nikkel rebound into the open net. Chad Robinson added an empty-netter and Corbin Boes made 39 saves. Jamal Watson, Jaimen Yakubowski and Brady Ramsay replied for Lethbridge.
On Saturday, Mackenzie Skapski made 31 saves and Sam Reinhart scored twice as the Kootenay Ice beat the Wheat Kings 4-0.
Reinhart scored both of his goals in the first period, while Zach McPhee and Luke Philp tallied 26 seconds apart in the third period for Kootenay.
Curtis Honey made 28 saves for the Wheat Kings, who went 0-for-6 on the power play.
ONE-TIMERS: The Wheat Kings will return home to host the East Division-leading Prince Albert Raiders this Friday, before visiting P.A., the next night … RW Jens Meilleur (upper body), LW Richard Nejezchleb (shoulder, week-to-week), and D Colton Waltz were scratched both nights … Hawryluk confirmed to CKLQ that he has been named to Team West, the combined Manitoba-Saskatchewan entry in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, set for Dec. 29 to Jan. 4 in Victoriaville and Drummondville, Que. Hockey Manitoba has yet to announced the roster.
» firstname.lastname@example.org, with files from Rob Henderson