Friday, 17 December 2010

Wheat Kings' Rookie Bouncing Back

Rookie goaltender Liam Liston is hoping Sunday's effort was the start of a bounce-back for him.

Liston made 42 saves in Brandon's 6-2 victory over Prince Albert after giving up four or more goals in each of his five previous starts.

"For me, I think it's just don't overthink the game," said Liston after the Wheat Kings' practice Thursday, "I get pretty analytical sometimes and simplifying the game really makes it easier on myself and helps me relax."

Liston got a couple of games off after being pulled in consecutive starts during Brandon's two-game Alberta road trip the first weekend of December.

The 6-foot-2, 202 pound Liston says that helped get him back to concentrating on the basics.

"I just had a good week of practice. Obviously, the week before was a little bit of a tough week team-wise and for myself," says Liston, "We focused on going day-by-day and using each practice to the fullest extent, working on little things. I think the effort in the week leading up really worked out on the weekend for us."

Overall this season, Liston has a 3.53 GAA and .890 SPCT while sporting a 10-12-1 record.

The 24 games played nearly matches the total number of games the St. Albert, Alberta product played at the AAA Midget level a year ago but Liston doesn't think the workload is an issue.

"Every goalie is going to go through a rough stretch that I went through the last little bit here and I think the trick is to just let it happen once," says Liston, "You look at all the guys that are in the upper echolon of the WHL right now, the Calvin Pickard's and Tyler Bunz, it's not the fact that they've never gone through a stretch like this, it's the fact that they've gone through it once and they learned from it and grow up pretty quick from it and it's really paying off for them so, hopefully, the same can work the same for me."

The Wheat Kings play their final home game of the 2010 calendar year Friday night when they entertain the Moose Jaw Warriors (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Brandon enters Friday's game sitting three points behind Lethbridge for eighth-place in the WHL's Eastern Conference standings.

Chaff...After this weekend's home-and-home series, the Warriors and Wheat Kings don't play again until the final weekend of the regular season...rookie Brandon F Tyrel Seaman (shoulder) skated after practice Thursday but is not expected to play this weekend...The Wheat Kings are encouraging fans to Get in the Holiday Spirit for Friday's contest by bringing a new, unwrapped toy or a non-perishable food item for donation to the Westman and Area Traditional Christmas Dinner.

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