Friday, 30 January 2015

Wheat Kings Dump Warriors

Rookie Nolan Patrick had three points Friday.
  Nolan Patrick had two goals and an assist to pace the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 6-4 win over the Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday night.

  Patrick, Reid Duke and John Quenneville scored in the opening 20 minutes as the Wheat Kings jumped out to a 3-0, first period lead.

  The Warriors battled back with four straight goals in the first 15 minutes of the second period before Morgan Klimchuk's goal with 2:40 left in the middle frame pushed the Wheat Kings back into a 4-4 tie.

  Peter Quenneville then scored a power-play goal midway through the third period to give Brandon a 5-4 lead, and Patrick sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 1:33 left in the contest.

  After going 0-for-4 in Tuesday's shootout loss to Swift Current, Brandon's power-play had been largely ineffective in their first two chances Friday night before the Quenneville goal with eight seconds left in the man advantage.

  "I think we just wanted to get pucks through and force their goalie to make saves.  I think that's something we've struggled with lately and that's why the power-play hasn't been as good as it normally is," said Quenneville on CKLQ's post-game show, "On that play, it was kind of a broken play and I just tried to spin and shoot and was fortunate enough that it went in."
Pic courtesy Twitter (@ScooterHlady29)

  The victory came in Brandon defenceman Eric Roy's 300th game in a Wheat Kings' uniform, and was the 400th career coaching victory for Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon.

  "As I said to the players, I enjoy winning and I enjoy seeing our players win," said McCrimmon, "I've been lucky along the way to have great assistant coaches and lots of good players come through the organization."

  McCrimmon is the 14th coach in WHL history to reach 400 career wins.

  The victory allows Brandon (36-9-3-2) to remain five points ahead of second-place Medicine Hat in the Eastern Conference standings.

  The Wheat Kings will visit Moose Jaw Saturday to conclude the home-and-home series (6:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ).
It was John Quenneville bobblehead night Friday

 Chaff...John Quenneville returned to Brandon's lineup Friday on his bobblehead night.  He missed one game with a lower body injury...Jayce Hawryluk (upper body), Kale Clague (upper body), Mark Matsuba (healthy) and Mark Taraschuk (healthy) were Brandon's scratches on Friday...Peter Quenneville and Rihards Bukarts, who had two assists, both reached the 100-point marks for their WHL careers on Friday...former Wheat King Colby Robak cleared NHL waivers Friday and was sent by Anaheim to Norfolk (AHL)...among those in attendance Friday was Dallas Stars' GM Jim Nill.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Roy Set to Join 300 Club

Eric Roy in action during the 2010 pre-season (note the #6)
  Fifth-year defenceman Eric Roy will join an exclusive club on Friday night when the Brandon Wheat Kings host the Moose Jaw Warriors (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  Roy is set to become the ninth player in franchise history to play 300 games in a Wheat Kings’ uniform.

  “I think I’ve matured a lot.  I was that quiet kid, really shy coming from the smalltown of Beauval (Saskatchewan).  Over the past five years living in Brandon, its been really huge for me,” said Roy earlier this week, “I talk a lot now, very outgoing.  Sure am going to miss Brandon, it’s been a big part of my life, but I’m looking forward to the next chapter.”

  Roy was Brandon’s first round pick in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, 18th overall, and made his WHL debut in Brandon’s second game of the season in 2010-2011, going pointless and picking up an interference penalty in the Wheat Kings’ 3-1 victory in Regina.

  “I was really nervous...I didn’t really know much about the Western Hockey League,” said Roy, who wore #6 to start his career before switching to his familiar #7 in October of his rookie season, “I heard it was a really tough league and I was really excited but, at the same time, I was really nervous to play that game.  Here I am now, five years later, and it’s been a good ride.”

  Roy has been around for a lot of different seasons with the Wheat Kings, beginning in his rookie year (2010-2011) when Brandon was coming off their Memorial Cup host year and was one of five rookie defencemen on the roster.

  He survived three coaching changes, going from Kelly McCrimmon to Cory Clouston to Dwayne Gylywoychuk and back to McCrimmon, and feels this final season will be the one he remembers the most.

4 1/2 years later, Eric Roy in practice Thursday
  “It’s little sad at times but I’m just trying to enjoy it.  We have a really good hockey team here and we really want to go far in playoffs,” said Roy, “I just want to go out there and play every night and try and enjoy these last 23 games.  The season has been going by fast but its been a lot of fun so far.”

  There’s still a lot of work for Roy to do before his WHL career comes to an end.

  While he’ll end up one game short of Gylywoychuk for top spot in all-time games played IF he plays every game the rest of the season, Roy is hoping to add to his total of playoffs games played by quite a bit.

  The fifth round pick of the Calgary Flames in the 2013 NHL Draft is also hoping to sign an entry-level contract with the Flames before the June 1st deadline, and could also possible move up the career lists of every offensive category among defencemen.

  Roy currently has 46 goals (8th all-time), 133 assists (8th all-time) and 179 points (6th all-time) in his Wheat Kings’ career.

Games Played Defenceman Goals Defenceman Assists Defenceman Points
323 - Dwayne Gylywoychuk 64 – Ryan Pulock 218 – Brad McCrimmon 279 – Brad McCrimmon
319 – Lance Monych 61 – Brad McCrimmon 200 – Cam Plante 248 – Cam Plante
318 – Brodie Melnychuk 56 – Andrei Lupandin 159 – Burke Henry 210 – Ryan Pulock
311 – Tim Konsorada 54 – Justin Kurtz 146 – Ryan Pulock 207 – Burke Henry
310 – Aaron Goldade 48 – Burke Henry 146 – Don Dietrich 200 – Justin Kurtz
309 – Dale McMullin 48 – Cam Plante 146 – Justin Kurtz 183 – Don Dietrich
302 – Ryan Craig 47 – Bob Woods 136 – Dwayne Pentland 179 – Eric Roy
300 – Randy Ponte 46 – Eric Roy 133 – Eric Roy 162 – Dwayne Pentland
299 – Eric Roy 37 – Colby Robak 126 – Wade Redden 159 – Andrei Lupandin
299 – Teegan Moore 37 – Don Dietrich 108 – Wayne Ramsey 153 – Wade Redden

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Tie a Bow on Wheat Kings' Win Streak

Tim McGauley scored his 30th goal of
the season Tuesday.
  Landon Bow nearly singlehandedly put an end to the Brandon Wheat Kings six-game winning streak on Tuesday night.

  The Broncos' goaltender stopped 52 shots and all three of Brandon's shootout attempts as Swift Current downed the Wheat Kings 3-2.

  Bow stopped 45 shots over the final 45 minutes of the contest including all seven he faced in overtime in helping the Broncos to just their second win in their last eight games.

  "You have to give him a lot of credit but I thought we played pretty well in the second half of the game for sure, even the whole second period I thought we took it to them," said Brandon forward Morgan Klimchuk on CKLQ's post-game show, "We had 54 shots and it's something you're usually pretty happy with.  They hung around like a bad smell...the more you let them hang around, the worse it's going to get."

  Klimchuk scored the game-tying goal for Brandon 6:28 into the third period while Tim McGauley also scored for the Wheat Kings, his 30th of the season.

  Brandon trailed 1-0 after the first period as Carter Rigby scored a power-play goal 10:53 into the opening frame, with Jake DeBrusk adding his 28th of the season 1:08 into the second period to give Swift Current a 2-0 advantage.

  McGauley's goal at 11:55 of the middle frame got the Wheat Kings to within one, with Klimchuk then netting the tying goal.

  McGauley, Klimchuk and Rihards Bukarts were all denied by Bow in the shootout, leaving the Wheat Kings a collective 3-for-17 (17.6%) in shootout attempts this season.

  "I don't like making cute plays on shootout attempts," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ's post-game show, "I just like see guys make strong plays, whether that's a hard shot, whether that's picking your hole and trying to hit it, making strong plays on dekes.  I don't like cute, fancy little plays."

  McGauley, in particularly, had bad luck in shootouts, with Tuesday's failed attempt making him 1-for-9 in his WHL career.

  The Wheat Kings do gain a point with the shootout loss, but their lead atop the Eastern Conference was reduced to five points over the second-place Medicine Hat Tigers.

  Brandon is back in action Friday when they host the Moose Jaw Warriors (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff...the loss prevented McCrimmon from reaching the 400-win mark for his WHL coaching career...Brandon scratched F John Quenneville (upper body), F Jayce Hawryluk (upper body), D Kale Clague (upper body) and D Mark Taraschuk (healthy)...McGauley is one of six players in the WHL to reach the 30-goal mark this season...the Wheat Kings will host their annual CKLQ Sportsmans Dinner Thursday, with Ron MacLean as the guest speaker.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Comfort Level Going up for Gow

Reid Gow
  Reid Gow is feeling a lot more comfortable as a Brandon Wheat King these days.

  The 20-year old Gow joined the team three weeks ago and it took a while for the former Spokane Chiefs' captain to get back into the swing of playing in the Western Hockey League.

  "I felt kind of like a fish out of the pond there at the start.  Just wasn't up in good enough shape to  be playing with this good of a hockey club," said the Killarney product after Monday's practice, "I'm starting to feel a lot better now, feel more excited to help contribute to the team and it's an awesome organization to be a part of."

  Gow has played in eight games with the Wheat Kings since joining the team just over three weeks ago after spending the first half of the 2014-2015 season with the University of Manitoba Bisons.

  There's were a few adjustment for Gow to make in coming back to the WHL, not the least of which is getting used to playing games a little more often.

  "Just getting back into having games every other day.  We played Friday and Saturday in the CIS, which is awesome, but you're not as intense thoughout the week," said Gow, "Here, you play every other day so you have to be ready to go every game and, obviously, every two points is important and when you're in the hunt, it's even more exciting."

  Gow also says the style and structure of play with the Wheat Kings is different than what he was used to during his four seasons with the Spokane Chiefs, and that is also something that's been a bit of an adjustment for him.

  The Wheat Kings will be looking to run their winning streak to a season-high seven games Tuesday night when they host the Swift Current Broncos (7:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff...the last time the Wheat Kings had a seven-game winning streak was when they won eight in a row to close out the 2009-2010 regular season...rookie D Kale Clague (upper body) continues to practice in a no-contact jersey with the Wheat Kings.  Clague has missed the last 27 games...the Broncos will be without World Junior gold medalist Dillon Heatherington for 4-6 weeks after he suffered an upper body injury.  Heathington joins Broncos' alternate captains Coda Gordon and Carter Rigby in the infirmary.

Milestone at hand for McCrimmon

  It could be a milestone night for Brandon Wheat Kings' GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on Tuesday night.

  McCrimmon has 399 career coaching victories and could become the 14th coach in Western Hockey League history to reach the 400-win mark if the Wheat Kings can down the visiting Swift Current Broncos Tuesday (7:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  McCrimmon has a 399 win, 297 loss and 55 tie career record in the WHL, with this season likely to be the sixth time in his last nine full seasons to lead the team to 40-plus victories.

  McCrimmon will join the likes of former Wheat Kings' bench bosses Bob Lowes, Dean Clark and Doug Sauter as WHL coaches to reach 400 wins.