Brandon Wheat Kings
Swift Current, SK. — The Brandon Wheat Kings got back on the winning track Saturday night with a come from behind 6-3 victory over the Broncos in Swift Current.
Trailing 3-1 in the second period, the Wheat Kings rallied for five unanswered goals, including the game winner by veteran Brodie Melnychuk early in the third period en route to their second straight win on the road. For Melnychuk, it was his fourth goal of the season and it came in his 300th career WHL game.
Captain Mark Stone scored twice and set up three others as the Wheat Kings improved their record to 26-25-1-3 on the season in what was one of their most impressive games in recent weeks.
“We were okay early on, and we just didn’t get a couple of bounces go our way and I thought they made it 3-1, but we stayed with it all night,” Wheat Kings’ assistant coach Darren Ritchie told Bruce Luebke on CKLQ’s post-game show. “I really give our guys a lot of credit tonight. They stuck with it, it was always positive on the bench and (Brandon Anderson) made some saves after it was 3-1. Our guys just stuck with it tonight and found a way.”
Ryan Pulock, Michael Ferland and Darian Dziurzynski rounded out the scoring for the Wheat Kings, who oushot Swift Current 36-31.
Levi Bews, Colby Cave and Taylor Vause were the only Broncos to beat netminder Brandon Anderson, who made 28 saves in what was his first start in two weeks.
So despite Brandon’s recent losing streak on home ice, the Wheat Kings have managed to stay in the Western League playoff chase by winning five of their last 9 road games. The win pushed Brandon four points up on Red Deer in the battle for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference as the Rebels dropped a 6-2 decision to the Calgary Hitmen.
Brandon will be hoping to make it three straight on the road on Wednesday night in Regina, before returning home to host the Broncos on Friday night, looking to put the breaks to a 6-game home ice losing skid.
A 20-year old native of Balgonie, Saskatchewan, Melnychuk joined some pretty select company on Saturday night by becoming only the eighth player in franchise history to play in 300 games. The 5-year WHL veteran, who led the team with an impressive +9 in January, joins the likes of Randy Ponte, Ryan Craig, Dale McMullin, Aaron Goldade, Tim Konsorada, Lance Monych and current assistant coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk, who is the Wheat Kings’ all time leader having played in 323 games.