The Brandon Wheat Kings extended their Western Hockey League losing streak to six games Sunday night, but they believed they took a step in the right direction.
After dropping their last five games, the Wheat Kings defence clamped down to hold the Medicine Hat Tigers to one regulation marker. Brandon eventually fell 2-1 in a shootout to the host Tigers, but Brandon assistant coach David Anning believes his team took a huge step in returning to the win column.
"I thought tonight was one of our better efforts in recent memory and I thought our guys really competed hard," he said.
"It’s what we needed. Obviously we would have liked the second point, but it’s something we can definitely build off of."
Despite the solid effort, it took a long time for Brandon to find the back of the net.
The Tigers (13-16-2-0) jumped out to a 1-0 lead with four minutes left in the second period when Dylan Busenius scored on a one-timer while Medicine Hat was on a two-man advantage.
They held on to that advantage until Eric Roy scored with 52 seconds left in the game on a shot from the blue-line with an extra attacker on the ice. That goal snapped a 135 minute and four second goalless drought.
"Obviously it was a bit of a struggle scoring goals as of late," Anning said. "I’m sure the boys will be happy to get that monkey off their back and we can move forward now."
Corbin Boes made 34 saves for Brandon. Curtis Valk’s shootout marker held up as the game-winner.
On Saturday night in Swift Current, Sask., the Wheat Kings gave up three goals in the second frame on their way to a 5-0 loss.
Ryan Moser scored twice for the Broncos (12-13-3-2) and added an assist. Levi Bews, Reece Scarlett and Graham Black had the other Swift Current goals. Landon Bow started in net for the Broncos, but was injured in the first period after stopping five shots. Eetu Laurikainen replaced him and made 12 saves the rest of the way to complete the shutout. Curtis Honey made 26 stops for the Wheat Kings.
ONE-TIMERS: The Wheat Kings play their next four games at home, starting Friday against the Spokane Chiefs (7:30 p.m., Westman Place). … The Wheat Kings scratched their captain, D Ryan Pulock (upper body), as well as C Tyrel Seaman (upper body), RW Jens Meilleur (lower body), C Tim McGauley (upper body), RW Jack Palmer (upper body) and D Rene Hunter (ill) in both games … C Quintin Lisoway of Neepawa played for the Wheat Kings on Saturday and Sunday after being called up from Steinbach of the MJHL.
» firstname.lastname@example.org, with files from Rob Henderson