Brandi Pollock

Wheat Kings win tight affair in Family Day matinee

In a game of missed opportunities, Brandon was able to capitalize on one more chance than Regina on Monday afternoon. The Family Day holiday brought out 5,409 fans to the Brandt Centre. Despite the low score, the big crowd was treated to an entertaining game.

After the game, Pats head coach Dave Struch lamented his team’s missed chances. “Power play, shorthanded, five-on-five we had lots of chances. I think that we lacked a little bit of skill in our playmaking tonight. Probably cost us the game.”

Both teams had great chances in the first period. The Pats’ Riley Krane had a breakaway but hit the post. Former Pat Duncan Pierce had his own breakaway for Brandon but was stopped by Donovan Buskey.

Brandon opened the scoring in the second period. Ben McCartney tipped a Rylan Thiessen point shot. Pats netminder Buskey had no chance to make the save. It was the lone goal of the period.

Despite the lack of finish, Struch liked the team’s game. “We felt good about our play without the puck, did so many things right. Again, (I like) the way we’ve been playing for a long time now, with the exception of the two games in a row, Medicine Hat and Calgary.”

In the third period, Colorado Avalanche prospect Luka Burzan had a great tip of his own. Vincent Iorio had his point shot deflected by a Pats defender, but it went towards Burzan and somehow he was able to get his stick on the puck between his feet and deflect the puck past Buskey. The goal was the WHL’s highlight of the night.

The Pats responded late in the frame. In a scramble beside the net, Drew Englot was able to shovel the puck past a downed Ethan Kruger. The Pats were unable to muster a good scoring chance after the goal and 2-1 was the final score.

Struch liked the overall effort on the day. “If you look at how we played in Edmonton, to come out and play the way we did, as hard as we did, because a lot of times when you have an emotional victory like you did there, (you) come out flatter. Guys came out tonight against another real good team. The way Brandon’s played since Christmas time, they’re playing great hockey, (they) showed it here tonight. Our guys stuck with them right to the end.”

Despite Cole Dubinsky‘s modest two game point streak coming to an end, he was named third star of the game. Dubinsky was playing in his 100th career WHL game.

Cole Dubinsky
(Photo – Keith Hershmiller)

Postgame, Dubinsky commented on his time in the league. “It’s been really good, It’s just been a slow progression. I’ve learned a lot of life lessons in the short amount of time and it’s been a great experience. It’s helped me a lot from hockey and life.”

Dubinsky has been moving up the lineup as of late. He has been seeing more ice time, including time on the first power-play unit. He continued, “Playing more and getting the opportunities is going to lead to success. You just got to take advantage of opportunities and try and get better every day.”

 

Pats Stats

First star of the game was Brandon’s Ethan Kruger. He stopped 25-of-26 shots on the day.

Regina’s Donovan Buskey was named second star with his 22-of-24 save performance.

Regina was 0-for-5 on the power play, while Brandon 0-for-1.

Luka Burzan is now tied for sixth in WHL goal scoring with 32.

Drew Englot is now the highest scoring rookie on the Pats roster with 12 goals and four assists.

Regina is in Prince Albert on Tuesday evening to face former goalie Max Paddock. The Pats then finish the week with a three-in-three, all at home. Friday, they entertain Saskatoon in Autism Awareness night. Saturday, they see Edmonton in town, and they finish on Sunday with Brandon.

DUBNetwork Forums Wheat Kings win tight affair in Family Day matinee

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