Friday, 19 March 2010

Playoff Notebook

The 2010 Western Hockey League playoffs likely have a little different feel for the Brandon Wheat Kings.

The club already knows they'll be playing hockey until May as the host team for the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

"We just have to take it one game at a time. Yeah, the Memorial Cup is in the back of our mind and we know we're guaranteed a spot in it but we want to earn a spot," says Brandon defenceman Colby Robak, "We don't want to just be fine with being there already, we want to earn that spot and that's what we're here to do."

The last time a WHL host team for the Memorial Cup went into the tournament as the league champions were the 1995 Kamloops Blazers who, ironically, beat the Wheat Kings in the WHL Final with Brandon also getting a spot in the tournament as the WHL representatives.

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Specialty teams get magnified during the post-season and the Wheat Kings' power-play was inconsistent down the stretch, going 8-for-46 in their last nine games.

"We just to manage the puck a little better, let the puck do the work and we'll be fine," says Robak, "We know what they're going to bring and we just need to do what we do."

The Broncos had the fourth-best penalty-killing in the WHL during the regular season (84.0%) and held Brandon to three power-play goals in 28 chances in their six head-to-head meetings this season.

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The Wheat Kings and Manitoba Blue Cross will recognize the Provincial PeeWee Champion Source for Sports Wheat Kings as March's Performers of the Month during the first intermission of Friday's game.

The PeeWees are 39-2-0 this season and capped off a terrific season that saw them go 28-0-0 during regular season play in the Winnipeg AA League by capturing the Provincial Title in Dauphin last weekend.

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As of Thursday afternoon, approximately 3,100 tickets had been sold to Game #1 and Game #2 this weekend.

Tickets to both weekend games are on sale now at the Keystone Centre box office, by calling 726-3555 or online at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/.

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