Friday, 18 February 2011

Stone's Been Rolling Most of Season

Don't look now, but Brandon Wheat Kings' right-winger Mark Stone is now fifth in the Western Hockey League scoring race.

The 18-year old's six-point performance Tuesday against Saskatoon gives him 30 goals and 79 points on the season including 20 points during a nine-game point scoring streak.

"I'm getting a lot of opportunity. Playing in Brandon here, got to follow some pretty good players for two years," says Stone, a sixth round pick of the Ottawa Senators last June, "Guys like Andrew Clark, Brayden Schenn, Matt Calvert, those guys put up big numbers when they were in the league so following them, it's just great to put up numbers and produce."

One of Stone's strongest attributes is his consistency.

He's only gone without producing a point in back-to-back games twice this season, going three straight games from December 28-31 and two in a row on January 14-15.

"I know I'm going to play every night, I know I'm going to play top-six minutes," says the 6-foot-3, 200 pound Stone, "Every night, I have to come to the rink expecting to score goals and produce for the team because I'm put in that role."

Stone is also tied for fifth in the WHL with 15 power-play goals and ranks among the league-leaders in game-winning goals with six so far this season.

"I've been playing real consistent this year, no matter who I've been playing with," adds Stone, "I think me and Shayne (Wiebe) have been put together with Matty (MacKay) the last two months here and we've had a lot of success so it's just been a great addition to the team."

Stone and the Wheat Kings look for a fourth straight victory and an eighth consecutive home-ice win Friday night when they entertain the Swift Current Broncos (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Brandon enters Friday's action in seventh-place in the Eastern Conference, three points behind sixth-place Edmonton, one ahead of eighth-place Prince Albert and five up on ninth-place Swift Current.

Chaff...Wheat Kings' prospect Ayrton Nikkel goes for gold Friday at the Canada Winter Games in Halifax as he leads Team B.C. against Quebec in the gold medal game. The 6-foot-0, 180 pound defenceman is pointless in five contests...F Tyrel Seaman (illness) missed practice again on Thursday...D Brodie Melnychuk, who's been sidelined the last three weeks with a fractured left leg, is due to get evaluated again early next week...F Matt MacKay takes a 12-game point scoring streak into Friday's game while F Michael Ferland has points in eight straight games.

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