Friday, 14 May 2010

Wheat Kings Set for Opener

After 576 days of waiting, the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup gets underway Friday night.

The Brandon Wheat Kings take on the Windsor Spitfires in the opening game at Westman Communications Group Place (CKLQ coverage begins with our Memorial Cup Today show at 6:00 p.m.).

"It's pretty exciting. I've been trying to keep my mind off it this week and just concentrating on trying to get my game back into top shape in practice," says Brandon co-captain Matt Calvert, "It's real exciting, though. We get to play in the first game, we get to play the defending Memorial Cup champs and they're a real good team. We have the four best teams in the country, it's going to be a real exciting game and I think we're all real happy to get a game under our belts here."

The Wheat Kings haven't played since being eliminated from the WHL playoffs on April 23, being they'll have been idle for three weeks by the time the puck drops Friday.

"We're the most well-rested team here, that's for sure, but I don't think there's going to be any rust except for maybe the first 5-10 minutes of the game," says fellow co-captain Brayden Schenn (above), "Right now, we're not worried about the rust and all that, we're focused on Windsor and it should be a good, exciting game."

Schenn was nursing a lower-body injury as Brandon's playoffs came to an end but says he's ready to go for the Memorial Cup.

It looks like all 24 players will be available for the Wheat Kings Friday including defenceman Darren Bestland, who missed most of the final two rounds of the playoffs with a fractured orbital bone.

Chaff...Schenn and Brandon defenceman Travis Hamonic were teammates with Windsor's Taylor Hall, Ryan Ellis, Adam Henrique and Greg Nemisz on Canada's silver-medal winning team at the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championship.

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