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Thursday, May 26, 2016

MCCRIMMON: "WE LOST OUR MOJO"

RED DEER, Alta. - The Red Deer Rebels felt the pain of elimination back in April when the Brandon Wheat Kings bounced them from the Western Hockey League playoffs. Evan Polei never forgot the feeling.

Polei scored in overtime as Red Deer exacted some revenge by knocking Brandon out of the 2016 Memorial Cup with a 2-1 victory on Wednesday.

"You can't even describe it because we lost to those guys,'' said Polei. "For them to come into this tournament and lose all three (round-robin games) and we're the ones to send them home is an absolute great feeling.''

The 20-year-old Polei, a Wetaskwin, Alta., native, took a feed from Conner Bleackley at the side of the net and beat Jordan Papirny 3:50 into the extra period.

"Surreal moment, it's my first overtime goal, biggest goal of my career,'' said Polei, who is in his fourth year of major junior.

"I thought (Bleackley) was gonna shoot. I actually fanned on that shot, it was fortunate to go in.''

Red Deer will face the QMJHL champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in Friday's semifinal. The OHL champion London Knights have already earned a berth in the tournament championship on Sunday after going 3-0 in round-robin play.

Adam Musil scored for the host Rebels in regulation time.

Tim McGauley scored for the WHL champion Wheat Kings.

Rylan Toth made 33 saves for the win as Papirny stopped 30-of-32 shots in defeat.

"Losing out to them was tough, little cherry on top to knock them out, maybe a little pay back I guess,'' said Toth.

Brandon also lost 5-3 to the Huskies and was hammered by the Knights 9-1 at the tournament.

"We had much higher hopes coming to the tournament than how it played out. The three teams that played the best are the teams still playing,'' said Wheat Kings coach Kelly McCrimmon. "Somewhere between the (WHL finals) and Red Deer we lost our mojo.''

(The Canadian Press)

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bye bye Wheat Kings ;)

Anonymous said...

Time for McCrimmon to sign with Maple Leafs now.

Anonymous said...

This is a problem that the Wheat Kings have faced for a long time. Not a ton of character and never being able to seal the deal. It's been a long time since a WHL: team couldn't win at least one game. Even Saskatoon did a few years back. It has nothing to do with MoJo!

The Brandon forwards lacked another big time player, their defence was really average except Provorov. Clague is just 17 so not a leader yet. Papirny all playoffs had a save % under .900. The bottom line is that KM didn't improve his team at the deadline. That was surprising considering his rumoured move to the NHL. Considering how many great team in the pas 20 years, only one WHL championship in 20 years, no Memorial Cups. It may be time to turn the reigns over to some new blood.

Anonymous said...

So how many guys is brandon losing next year? Gotta be a few studs gone but patrick should be back with clague. Mateos. . I'm sure they'll be good next year but my guess was this had to be thier year. I have to admit I've always been kinda Jelous of brandon's ability to always be damn good. KM is a shrewd customer. . Probably a tad to stubborn to sell out for it all. You kind of had to wonder why they could roll through the dub but every series they laid at least 1 egg. Then lay 2 in the MC. Lack of leadership perhaps. Either way paddock has a decision to make is it next year or year after.Saskatoon sold out and it's wrecked them for years. KM also owns the wheaties so being good every year certainly doesn't hurt his bottom line in a fairly small market. Just saying. Hopefully if we get brooksie back next year we give brandon and the rest of the league a run at it. Looking forward to it!!

Anonymous said...

I have never understood wanting to be pretty darned good most of the time, but never great at any one time. It doesn't kill you if you're smart about acquiring assets at the deadline. Brandon did when they were hosts but then sold off assets the following year to regain picks. Then they sold to Saskatoon when they hosted, and started their upward cycle once again. That's how they ended up with Patrick and Clague. It's not all gloom and doom to buy assets to try and win a National Championship. It's about smart use of assets and knowing your situation. Red Deer parlayed the Lescyshyn trade into a 1st round pick and several in the next two rounds so they hardly missed a beat. This doom and gloom stuff is nonsense.

Brandon needed a top flight goalie, a d-man and forward. There were players available but Kelly wouldn't pay the price. Now with his Memorial Cup showing I guess he finally did. They will be pretty good again next year, but again not championship calibre. Kelly will likely be in Toronto by then.