EDMONTON, ALTA. – Brett Pollock stayed hot, but the Edmonton Oil Kings did not Friday night in Brandon.
Pollock scored a natural hat trick in just 53 seconds straddling the first and second periods, the fastest hat trick in modern franchise history, but it was for naught as Edmonton (12-9-1-2) fell 7-4 to the East Division-leading Brandon Wheat Kings (18-5-1-0).
“We leaked a lot of chances in our own end tonight, and Brandon has a pretty potent offence,” said Oil Kings head coach Steve Hamilton. “I thought we did a good job of clawing our way back into the game, and we just seemed unwilling to clamp it down in our end.
“Now we’re able to generate some offence, and the defensive side of the game is holding us back.”
Brandon opened the scoring just 2:35 into the game as Rihards Bukarts went top shelf with a backhand for a power-play goal, and extended that lead to two four minutes later when Nolan Patrick got his first of the game.
With 46 seconds left in the first period, Pollock converted a terrific feed to the slot from Dysin Mayo with a rocket over the shoulder of Brandon netminder Jordan Papirny.
Pollock struck again with a long shot 31 seconds later, then completed his first career hat trick just seven seconds into the second period to give the Oil Kings a 3-2 lead. It was the fastest hat trick in modern Oil Kings history, surpassing the 2:32 that Mitch Moroz took to score three last October, also in Brandon.
From there, however, it was all Wheat Kings, as John Quenneville scored on a power play and Patrick tallied shorthanded for his second of the game to give Brandon a 4-3 lead after 40 minutes.
“On our penalty kill, we had some missed assignments and gave them some pretty point blank opportunities. On the power play we made a questionable decision at a bad time and it wound up in the back of our net,” admitted Hamilton.
Tim McGauley and Macoy Erkamps added goals in the third for Brandon to make it 6-3 before Brandon Baddock banged in his third of the season on a rebound in front of the Brandon net.
Quintin Lisoway added a later marker for the Wheat Kings to round out the scoring.
Tristan Jarry finished with 37 saves for Edmonton, while Papirny made 30 stops in the Brandon goal.
Pollock extended his scoring streak to six games, with six goals and six assists over that stretch. Dysin Mayo added a pair of assists for the Oil Kings, while Ashton Sautner also had a helper as both defencemen extended their point streaks to five games. Lane Bauer also finished with a pair of assists for the Oil Kings and has points in three straight.
The Oil Kings and Wheat Kings will get back in action Saturday night in Brandon as the Oil Kings wrap up their four-game road trip. Game time is 6:30 p.m.