Regina, SK. (ISN) — The Brandon Wheat Kings hopes of moving up in the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Conference standings took a turn for the better Wednesday night with an impressive 5-2 victory over the Pats in Regina.


With the victory, the Wheat Kings moved to within a single point of both Regina and Saskatoon with five games remaining in the 2011-12 regular season. Brandon will host the Blades in a critical 2-game series this weekend.

Michael Ferland scored three times – his fourth hat trick of the season – including his ninth game-winning goal as the Wheat Kings improved to 36-27-1-3 on the season and playing with just fifteen skaters.

“We’re played some of our best hockey this year when we’re shorthanded. I think when you are shorthanded, you do keep it simple,” Brandon assistant coach Darren Ritchie told Bruce Luebke on CKLQ’s post-game show, “We got pucks in real well today, we didn’t turn pucks over too often in dangerous spots tonight and we had a lot of guys step up.”

Ryan Pulock and Darian Dziurzynski, who was playing in his 299th career WHL game, also scored for the Wheat Kings who led 3-1 through forty minutes of play after scoring back to back powerplay goals 15 seconds apart in the final three minutes of the second period. Captain Mark Stone added three assists, giving him 111 points and moving him into a tie for second place in the WHL scoring race.

Pulock finished the game with two points, giving him 100 in his WHL career.

Former Prince George Cougar defenceman Martin Marincin scored twice in a losing cause for the Pats, who fired 32 shots on Brandon netminder Corbin Boes. Adam Beukeboom made 27 saves in goal for Regina.

Of Brandon’s five remaining games, four will be played at Westman Place and fans can purchase tickets to any of them by stopping by the Keystone Centre box office, by calling 726-3555 or by going online at www.ticketmaster.ca

This weekend’s series with the Blades will feature a special appearance of Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ quarterback Buck Pierce on Friday night and the Scotiabank “Celebration of Hockey” on Saturday. Fans attending Saturday’s game will have a chance to have their photo taken with the Stanley Cup. Doors open at 6:30 and fans are encouraged to come early as the Cup will be available from 6:30 – 7:30 and during both the first and second intermissions.