Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Wheat Kings Set for Game #3

The Brandon Wheat Kings play their first home game in 18 days Wednesday night as they entertain the Saskatoon Blades in Game #3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal (7:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

The Wheat Kings lead the series 2-0 but are not taking anything for granted coming back home for what could be three consecutive games.

"Anytime you have a team down like we do, you have to expect they'll be coming out full of fire," says Brandon defenceman Brodie Melnychuk (left), "Anytime you play Saskatoon, it's always a real gritty game so you have to be ready for that."

The Wheat Kings will get left-winger Jordan Hale back in their lineup Wednesday after he completed his three-game suspension for a charging major he received in Game #3 of Brandon's first round series with Swift Current while the Blades welcome GM/Coach Lorne Molleken back behind the bench Wednesday.

Molleken has completed the four-game suspension he was handed by the Western Hockey League.

There's an expectation that Saskatoon will try to be as physical as possible but that's something Brandon feels they're prepared for.

"I don't think you let it take you off your game. You know you're going to get hit going back for pucks, but that's every night," says Melnychuk, "You just keep your head up and play your own game and it usually takes care of itself."

The Wheat Kings take a 14-game winning streak into Wednesday's contest, having gone 6-and-0 in the playoffs after closing out the regular season with eight consecutive victories.

Chaff...D Darren Bestland, who missed Games #1 and #2 in Saskatoon, continues to sit out practice for the Wheat Kings...Brandon had the best home-ice record in the WHL during the regular season (28-6-0-2) and are 2-0 at home so far in the playoffs...F Brayden Schenn has points in all six playoff games (6 G, 5 A) and points in 13 of the last 14 games the Wheat Kings have played...Schenn is the Wheat Kings’ active leader in goals (16) and points (32) in the playoffs...former Brandon Wheat King Derek Laxdal has been named the ECHL’s coach of the year. Laxdal is in his fifth season as head coach of the Idaho Steelheads and led the team to a 48-17-7 record.

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