Wednesday, 2 February 2011

MacKay Helping Spark Wheat Kings' Offence

Matt MacKay has been a much-needed offensive force during the Wheat Kings' recent resurgence.

The 20-year old takes a six-game point scoring streak into Wednesday night's game against Swift Current, tallying three goals and 13 points in that span and being involved in close to half the 27 goals Brandon has scored in that span.

MacKay says he's felt a little more freedom in using his offensive creativity since joining the Wheat Kings in a trade on January 5th.

"It was nice of me to take a lot of the defensive zone stuff that I learned from (Vancouver Giants' coach) Don Hay and bring it to Brandon and work on my D-Zone when the puck its my own zone," says MacKay, "Once it gets past the red line, I have the freedom to use my creativity and use little plays that make me effective. I think coming here, that's helped me the most."

MacKay, who was acquired along with a fourth round pick for defenceman Darren Bestland, has been instrumental in helping the Wheat Kings win four of those games and put themselves right back into the playoff discussion.

Brandon enters Wednesday's game one point behind eighth-place Prince Albert and three points behind the seventh-place Broncos in the Eastern Conference.

"Guys are excited. The older guys have really been stressing how fun the playoffs are and how big a difference the hockey is," says MacKay, who has worn an alternate captain's A in Brodie Melnychuk's absence, "A lot of the young guys want to experience that for the first time and guys are going to do whatever it takes to get into the playoffs."

The Wheat Kings are expected to be without Brodie Melnychuk for the fourth straight game on Wednesday as the fourth-year defenceman continues to be sidelined by an ankle injury.

Dominick Favreau (ribs) and Paul Ciarelli (charleyhorse) are also still out while David Toews (illness) and Brenden Walker (personal reasons) are both questionable for Wednesday's game.

Chaff...F Scott Glennie is also on a six-game point scoring streak (4 G, 5 A) entering Wednesday's game while F Mark Stone has points in five straight games...33 of Brandon's 53 games this season have been decided by two goals or less, with the Wheat Kings going 10-15-1-7 in those 33 games...A big night for former Brandon Wheat King Travis Hamonic Tuesday. Hamonic notched his first career NHL goal in helping the New York Islanders to a 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers. Meanwhile, Matt Calvert got his third of the season for Columbus in their 7-4 loss to Chicago while former Wheat King Alexander Urbom was recalled from the AHL by New Jersey on an emergency basis but didn't play for the Devils in their 2-1 victory over Ottawa.

1 comment:

Hicks76 said...

Man, Calvert's goal was a thing of beauty! Classic "Matty Hustle". He deserves more ice than the 8 minutes he's been getting; the sooner Arniel smartens up and puts him on the second line, the better! I haven't had a chance to see Hamonic's goal yet though... I will look it up!