Swift Current, SK. -- The Brandon Wheat Kings moved into sole posession of second place in the Western Hockey League's Eastern Division Tuesday night with a 7-3 victory over the hometown Swift Current Broncos.
The win improved Brandon's road record to 7-3-0-0 on the season and 10-5-0-1 overall, good for 21 points. The Wheat Kings moved two points up on both Moose Jaw and Saskatoon and remain one point back of the front running Regina Pats, who scored two first period goals and hung on for a 2-1 victory over the Blades.
Veteran left-winger Michael Ferland scored three times and set up another to pace the Wheat Kings, who will return home to play back to back games this weekend against the Calgary Hitmen and Medicine Hat Tigers on Friday and Saturday nights.
The goals for Ferland gave him fourteen on the season, which is second best in the WHL.
Tied at two, the Wheat Kings erupted for three straight second period goals to lead 5-2 after forty minutes of play and never looked back.
“I think we had about three or four shifts in a row where we were in the offensive zone. I think we had one quality chance but we were wearing them down,” Brandon assistant coach Darren Ritchie told CKLQ's Bruce Luebke. “With our big bodies, it takes a lot of work to battle with those guys in the corner and I think it wore them down, and it opened things up for later in the game.”
Brodie Melnychuk, with his first goal of the season in only his third game back from injury, Mark Stone, Darian Dziurzynski and Bruno Mraz, with his first career WHL goal, rounded out the scoring for the Wheat Kings, who received a 25-save performance from 18-year old Corbin Boes.
Stone's goal extended his goal scoring streak to six games and his league leading point scoring streak to sixteen.
Graham Black, Reece Scarlett and Coda Gordon, who leads all WHL rookies in scoring this season, replied for the Broncos, who were outshot 34-28.
While the Wheat Kings displayed an impressive physical brand of play throughout the game, a late hit from Brandon's Dziurzynski on Swift Current's Andy Blanke could prove costly as it will be reviewed by the WHL office. The former Saskatoon Blade was assessed a charging major and game misconduct on the play that happened in the final minute.
Tickets to this weekend's games are on sale at the Keystone Centre box office, by calling 726-3555 or online at ticketmaster.ca