Punched in the Jaw

ADAM WAZNY -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

It's turning into not much of a series.

League scoring champion Eric Fehr scored two goals and added an assist as the Brandon Wheat Kings dismantled the Moose Jaw Warriors 5-1 in front of a crowd of 4,418 at MTS Centre yesterday afternoon.

Brandon now leads the best-of-seven East Division semifinal series 2-0, outscoring the inferior Moose Jaw club by a 12-4 margin over the first two meetings.

Moose Jaw came out looking like a team that wanted to erase the memory of a 7-3 drubbing back at the Keystone Centre Friday night, beating the Wheat Kings to loose pucks and forcing goaltender Tyler Plante to make three big saves in the early going.

At one point the shots favoured the Warriors by a 5-1 margin.

"Tyler started off the game real strong for us," Fehr said of his rookie goaltender, who stopped 20 shots on the day. "That's what we needed to get back on our feet a little bit.

"That's what he does for us."

Once that brief Warriors onslaught was over, things settled down and followed the pre-series script.

Fehr got the ball rolling at 15:10 of the first period on the power play when he one-timed a Ryan Stone pass in the slot and beat Warriors goaltender Josh Lepp upstairs.

Brandon quickly made it 2-0 again on the power play when forward Derek LeBlanc corralled a bouncing puck in the slot and slid it past an unsuspecting Lepp at the 17:21 mark.

Jakub Sindel and Ryan Reaves scored the other goals for Brandon, which held Moose Jaw to just nine shots through two periods of play. The Wheaties out-shot the Warriors 40-21.

Things got ugly later in the game when Moose Jaw defenceman Jordan Henry took a run at Brandon forward Codey Burki at the 6:10 mark of the third period.

Henry blind-sided Burki, who was no where near the puck, with an open ice hit in front of the Warriors bench, causing a melee and setting the physical tone for the rest of the series.

'PRETTY BIG PLAYERS'

"We have some pretty big players on our team that will handle the physical game quite well," Fehr said. "When those guys started doing that, our guys got a little excited and a little more fired up."

Brandon head coach and general manager Kelly McCrimmon was already looking ahead to the next game, which goes Wednesday in Moose Jaw.

He ruled out any complacency his club might experience over the next couple days, given the relative ease of the first two wins.

"I haven't sensed that at all," said McCrimmon, whose club finished 57 points ahead of the Warriors in the East Division standings. "We've been able to win both games the way we have because we've been respectful of the team we're playing against. When you go into a Game 3 you have to respect the desperation your opponent is going to bring to that game.

"You have to be ready to play."


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