Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Liston Settling In for Wheat Kings

Rookie goaltender Liam Liston seems to be settling into his #1 role with the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Liston is 4-1-1 with a 2.80 goals against average and .911 save percentage in his last seven appearances, stopping 194 of 213 shots over 407 minutes.

The St. Albert, Alberta product admits that the start of the season, when the Wheat Kings had as many as five goaltenders still on their roster, made things difficult to start.

"The situation at the start of the year kind of made it difficult to get a read on the amount of playing time I was going to get," said Liston earlier this week, "For myself and for the team, from the West Coast trip on, we've really developed as people and as a group and we're really excited about the way things are headed."

The 6-foot-2, 202 pound Liston was a third round pick of Brandon in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft and quickly developed into the club's 'Goaltender of the Future', earning an invitation to Hockey Canada Goaltending Camp in June, and trying out for Canada's Under-18 team in early August.

However, the future appears to be now for Liston as he's expected to get the majority of the starts in his rookie season in the Western Hockey League.

There's been a number of adjustment Liston has had to make as he gets himself used to the WHL, not the least of which is the number of quality shooters there are in the league.

"A guy like Jordan Weal, a guy like Cody Eakin, there's something about the way they shoot the puck...they change the angle right before they shoot," says Liston, "Just getting used to that, getting used to the quality of the players. It's cliche but it's true, everything is just so much faster and everybody is stronger here."

Liston and the Wheat Kings are back in action on Remembrance Day afternoon as they entertain the Medicine Hat Tigers (2:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff...the Wheat Kings are 8-11-0-1 through the first 20 games of the regular season. The last time Brandon was under .500 at the 20-game mark was 2005-2006, when they went 5-12-2-1 in their first 20 games…the Wheat Kings are averaging to 4,562 fans per game through seven home games this season…F Mark Stone had a six-game goal streak snapped in Brandon's last game Sunday in Regina. It tied for the longest streak in the WHL this season. Stone also has a point in nine of his last 11 games (8 G, 6 A)…F Shayne Wiebe has points in six of the last seven games (3 G, 4 A)…F Scott Glennie had a five-game point streak (0 G, 9 A) end on Sunday. Glennie has 11 points (1 G, 10 A) in the last eight games...Brandon's power play has scored ten times in the last eight games, going 10-for-40 in that span (25.0%).

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