Friday, 3 December 2010

Wheat Kings Get Back at it Tonight

After a week-long break, the Brandon Wheat Kings return to action on Friday night when they open a two-game Alberta road trip in Edmonton.

Brandon takes a seven-game winless streak into Friday’s contest, but haven’t played since a last-minute 4-3 loss to Moose Jaw last Saturday.

It’s the first time since mid-October that the Wheat Kings haven’t had a mid-week game.

“I think it could have been a good time for us to stop playing games,” said Brandon alternate captain Mark Stone after Thursday’s practice in Edmonton, “I think we need some teaching points, and I think we’ve assessed that over the last week. I think a lot of guys have learned over the last week what it takes to win, and how we’re going to play so I think it’s going to be a lot better this weekend.”

Brandon (11-17-1-1) enters Friday’s game tied with Edmonton and Prince Albert for eighth-place and the final playoff spot in the WHL’s Eastern Conference.

“It’s a huge game for us. It’s the first time we’re playing this team…we’re going to be fighting with them until the end,” says Stone, “We want to move up in the standings, they want to move up in the standings so it’s a huge game.”

The Wheat Kings enter Friday’s game with a seven-game winless streak, the second long losing streak of the season, but Stone says they need to keep their chin up as much as possible.

“We just have to stick to the game plan. When guys get away from it, we haven’t been as successful as he have been,” says Stone, who has 10 of his 16 goals this season on the road, “Our defensive zone coverage has been lacking in the last 5-6 games and we took a lot of pride in that this week so I think guys are going to be ready to battle.”

Brandon has allowed 32 goals against during their seven-game winless streak, and have allowed seven power-play goals against in the last four games on 14 opposition power-play chances.

You can catch Friday’s game between the Wheat Kings and Oil Kings on CKLQ, starting with the pre-game show at 7:30 p.m.

Chaff…the Wheat Kings have been outscored 15-4 in the third period in their last seven games…the Wheat Kings aren’t reporting any injuries but centre Paul Ciarelli did not take part in practice on Thursday…Brandon hasn’t lost in regulation to the Oil Kings since they entered the WHL for the 2007-2008 season, going 9-0-2-1 versus Edmonton… Edmonton coach Derek Laxdal spent parts of three seasons with the Wheat Kings from 1984 to 1986, scoring 118 goals and 214 points in 181 games.

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