Wednesday, 23 March 2011

MacKay Ready for Former Club

The Brandon Wheat Kings might have a little insider information on how to beat the Medicine Hat Tigers.

They open their first round playoff series Friday night and Brandon centre Matt MacKay will be facing the team he played the entire 2009-2010 season with.

"No Scife, staying away from all it, not ready anyone's status' that they have on Facebook or anthing like that," said MacKay earlier this week, "I've just been staying right away from them."

MacKay had 23 goals and 52 points in 68 games with the Tigers last season before the club dealt him to Vancouver last June.

"I think, regular season, it's one thing saying hi to them after the game and staying in touch with them," adds MacKay, "I think in the playoffs the young guys will realize that with the Tigers coming out and the crowd roaring behind them that this isn't a joke any more and that it's dead serious hockey."

MacKay had 52 points in 31 games with the Wheat Kings since being acquired from Vancouver along with a fourth round pick in 2012 January 5th for defenceman Darren Bestland.

It's been nearly a year since MacKay suited up as a Tiger, but he still has a little insight on how they can be beat.

"Just don't pucks over in the neutral zone," says MacKay, "The way their neutral zone attack is, if you turn the puck over they're coming at 100 miles an hour and your defence is either poorly gapped up or too far gapped up, and that's where they make all the mistakes."

MacKay also feels tracking back into the defensize zone and picking up the proper attacking players will be vital to Brandon's success.

Chaff...the Wheat Kings and Tigers have met in three playoff series, and five times overall in the Western Hockey League playoffs. The most recent meeting came two seasons ago, with the Wheat Kings sweep the Tigers - the first time Brandon had eliminated Medicine Hat in the post-season. The Wheat Kings have three players remaining in their roster who played in the series in 2008-2009 - Mark Stone, Brodie Melnychuk and Scott Glennie.

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