Tuesday, 22 February 2011

MacKay's Streak Just Part of Offensive Formula

Brandon Wheat Kings' centre Matt MacKay is on a hot streak, and has been for the better part of a month.

The 20-year old has points in fourteen consecutive games, the longest current streak in the Western Hockey League, and also has goals in seven straight contests.

MacKay and linemates Mark Stone and Shayne Wiebe have combined for 36 goals and 83 points in the last 14 contests, 11 of those being Brandon victories.

"Stoner is even hotter than I am, with the amount of points he's been putting up lately, and Wieber is, every night, getting that one or two points as well," says MacKay, who has 32 points in 20 games with Brandon since being acquired from Vancouver January 5th, "I just think we're playing consistent hockey and that runs through the whole team so it's been really good this past month."

Overall, the Wheat Kings have scored 75 goals in the last 14 contests, an average of 5.4 per game, and have suddenly become as potent as any team in the WHL.

Offence has come from a lot of different sources, with Michael Ferland having had a nine-game point streak (6 G, 8 A) snapped Saturday in Swift Current, Scott Glennie contributing 22 points (12 G, 10 A) in the last 14 games, Brenden Walker have 10 points (5 G, 5 A) in the last nine games he's played and David Toews having points in seven of the last eight games (4 G, 6 A).

"They see one line going and stepping up for each other and trying to lead the team and the second line wants to do that and once the third line sees that line doing that, then the third line wants to do that and it's just contagious," says MacKay, "I think everyone has done a good job of buying into that system and really wanting to win. I think that's been the difference is everyone is wanting to win when we come to the rink so it's been good."

The Wheat Kings are back in action Wednesday night as they visit the Saskatoon Blades (6:35 p.m., CKLQ) and will likely have forward Michael Ferland in their lineup.

Ferland left Brandon's last game in Swift Current but practiced with the team Tuesday.

Meanwhile, defenceman Spencer Galbraith is day-to-day with a shoulder injury and forward Tyrel Seaman is still day-to-day because of illness.

On the plus side, defenceman Brodie Melnychuk skated after practice Tuesday as he comes back from a fractured left leg that has sidelined him for a month.

He could be back in the Wheat Kings' lineup later this week.

Chaff...in addition to their forwards, Brandon is also getting plenty of production from their back end. Ryan Pulock has 15 points (2 G, 13 A) and is +12 in the last 14 games, Ryley Miller has six assists and is +15 in the last 14 games and Eric Roy has seven points (3 G, 4 A) in the last nine games...Shayne Wiebe's next goal will be the 100th of his WHL career...Former Wheat Kings' captain Ryan Craig was assigned back to AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton by the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesdsay. He was pointless in six games with Pens.

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