By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
The Brandon Wheat Kings are off to the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Conference Semifinals after an impressive sweep of the second-seed Regina Pats on the heels of their 5-1 win on Friday night.
The Wheat Kings, who came into the playoffs as the seventh seed, won their sixth straight game over Regina after defeating them twice to close out the regular season, securing a playoff spot in the process.
The Wheaties were led by Roblin’s Jayce Hawryluk, their leading scorer during the regular season, who netted 10 points in the series including a hat-trick in Game 3.
Hawryluk was taken to hospital following Wednesday night’s game after experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath. Despite spending the night there, Hawryluk was back on the ice Friday and scored a goal and added an assist in the rout.
Brandon saw production across the board in the series with five players at a point-per-game or better. John Quenneville added three goals and six assists and was a plus-9 over the course of the series, matching Hawryluk in that department. In fact, 15 players for the Wheat Kings finished in the good side of the plus-minus statistic.
18-year-old rookie netminder Jordan Papirny was solid in the Wheat Kings crease, posting a 3.00 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage. He is one of two rookie netminders to play in the WHL playoffs.
Brandon will face the Edmonton Oil Kings, who also swept their first round series in impressive fashion over the Prince Albert Raiders.