Brandon, MB. — The Wheat Kings current losing streak has reached five games.
Brady Brassart scored once and set up two others Tuesday night as the visiting Calgary Hitmen dumped the hometown Wheat Kings 7-2 at Westman Communications Group Place.
With the loss, the Wheat Kings slipped to 14-25-2-2 on the season and thanks to a Kootenay Ice victory Brandon has now fallen into last place in the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Conference.
Losers of six of seven games since their Christmas break, Brandon coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk says giving up a goal nine seconds into the opening face-off was simply unacceptable.
“We have to come ready to play,” Gylywoychuk told Bruce Luebe on CKLQ’s post-game show. “We get scored on first shift…we just couldn’t get ourselves going again. We keep pushing our backs against the wall. We give ourselves some life but we can’t put two or three shifts together. “We have one line going at one point of the game, then we have nothing else going or we have two lines going after a little while, we just have nothing going. We just don’t have any consistent pressure on the visiting team.”
Geordie Maguire and Richard Nejezchleb scored goals in a losing cause for the Wheat Kings, who surrendered two shorthanded goals in the final minute while playing with the extra attacker and starting netminder Corbin Boes sitting on the bench.
Chris Driedger made 27 saves in the Hitmen net while Boes stopped 23 shots for Brandon.
Prior to Tuesday’s game, Wheat Kings general manager and owner Kelly McCrimmon presented 19-year old left-winger Alessio Bertaggia with a commemorative plaque, in recognition of his recent participation with Team Switzerland at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Russia.
Brandon’s next action is Saturday night when they play host to the Regina Pats.