The Brandon Wheat Kings made a stop at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, Washington, on Tuesday night to challenge the Tri-City Americans. It was the team’s fourth of seven games on their current two week road trip that started last Wednesday against the Everett Silvertips.
Brandon has lost two games along the way, but they changed things on Tuesday and added their second win of the trip as they hammered the Americans 10-2 inside of their own rink.
In front of 2,499 fans, Brandon got points from all but two players and they put up 41 shots. Lynden McCallum also continued his hot start to the season. Luka Burzan put a hold on his cold patch and all was well for the Wheat Kings.
We’ve talked a lot this season about McCallum, and that’s for good reason. Last year, he had just four goals in 46 games. On Tuesday, McCallum found the back of the net twice to help the Wheat Kings pick up their most lopsided victory of the season. The two goals also give him five on the season — more than all of last year — and the season is less than 15 games old.
7:26 in, McCallum opened the scoring. Dom Schmiemann and Ben McCartney drew the assists. On their home ice, it didn’t take Tri-City long to punch right back. At the 8:54 mark, Edge Lambert scored his second of the season to knot the game up. Mitchell Brown and Nikita Krivokrasov notched the assists.
Before the media timeout, Brandon gave themselves something to cheer about. 9:42 into the contest, Cole Reinhardt sniped home his fifth of the season as Lynden McCallum drew the only assist.
Being up 2-1 after 20 clearly wasn’t enough for Brandon. On the power play with just 58 seconds left, Ben McCartney scored his fifth goal of the season to give Brandon a 3-1 lead going into the first intermission. Luka Burzan and Braden Schneider, who will both play on Team WHL in the Canada/Russia Series next month, had the assists.
The Wheat Kings went on a rampage in the second and blew the game wide open early on. With their 3-1 lead, Lynden McCallum scored his second of the game and fifth of the season just 2:18 in. Luka Burzan picked up another assist and so did Dom Schmiemann. 2:03 later, the goal light was turned on again. That’s when Captain Connor Gutenberg made it 5-1 at the 4:21 mark.
Next up it was Jonny Hooker’s time to shine. He scored his first goal of the campaign just 1:19 later as Brandon extended their lead to 6-1. Caiden Daley got his first assist of the game while Schmiemann picked up his third. Brandon scored six goals in the game’s first 35:40.
Just like a 2-1 lead after 20 wasn’t enough for Brandon, a 6-1 lead wasn’t enough either. Marcus Sekundiak made it 7-1 with 9:58 left in the midway period. The marker was shorthanded and it was assisted by Braden Schneider and Gutenberg.
Luka Burzan hadn’t scored a goal in the last six games. Well, that streak is now over. He scored his fifth of the season with 2:56 left in the second period. The goal was assisted by Caiden Daley and Chad Nychuk and gave Brandon an 8-1 lead after 40 minutes.
With the game well decided, Tri-City’s Marc Lajoie trimmed the deficit to 8-2 with just over 10 minutes left.
At the 17:31 mark, Jonny Hooker scored, and 1:02 later, Jonny Lambos scored his second of the season as Brandon hit the double-digit mark in scoring for the first time this season.
The win moves Brandon to 5-7. Tri-City, meanwhile, is 6-5.
The Americans continue their five-game homestand on Friday when Prince Albert rolls into town. Brandon is in Spokane on Wednesday.
- Ethan Kruger started the game and went 17-for-18 through 40 minutes. Connor Ungar came on in relief and went 8-for-9 in net for Brandon in the third.
- Tuesday’s 10 goals were five more than the Wheat Kings have scored in any other game this season.
- Brandon went 1-for-4 on the power play, and they’re now 10-for-54 for 18.5% which is 13th in the league.
- For comparison, Tri-City is just .6% behind Brandon as they went 1-for-6 on the night.
- Tri-City has now given up at least six goals on four different occasions this season.