Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Wheat Kings, Blades Set for Doubleheader

The Brandon Wheat Kings open a doubleheader with the league-leading Saskatoon Blades on Wednesday night (7:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

The Wheat Kings are looking for a 12th straight home ice win and would move past Edmonton and into sixth-place in the WHL's Eastern Conference if they get it against the Blades.

"For sure, that's what we're working for," said Brandon left-winger Michael Ferland after Tuesday's practice, "We're trying to get into sixth spot right now so we want to keep winning games and get in front of Edmonton."

Rain-check night in Brandon should lead to a large crowd to watch the Blades and the Wheat Kings who, despite being 38 points apart in the standings, have had a healthy rivalry during the season.

Brandon has won three of six meetings with the Blade (3-2-0-1 to be exact) including both previous games at WCGP.

"We just want to keep playing how we've been playing and doing what we've been doing to win games," said Ferland, "They're a really good team and we just have to be ready to work."

Brandon is also on the verge of clinching a playoff spot for the 11th straight season, and could do so Wednesday with the victory and a loss by either Prince Albert or Lethbridge.

The Blades also have a title at stake. A win Wednesday would allow Saskatoon to clinch the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as the regular season champions of the WHL.

Chaff...Rene Hunter is expected to be in the lineup tonight after the rookie defenceman left Brandon's last game Saturday in Regina following a first period fight...Mark Stone enters Wednesday's game on a 17-game point streak and just two points shy of becoming the first Wheat King since Eric Fehr in 2004-2005 to reach 100 points in a single season...Brandon is close to finalizing their home away from home for the 2011 post-season. The Wheat Kings won't have access to WCGP during the first round because of the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, and could announce where they'll be playing their home playoff games by the end of the week...former Wheat Kings' co-captain Matt Calvert has 11 goals in his first 25 NHL games. He's the first rookie to score 11 in first 25 since Evgeni Malkin scored 15 in his first 25 in 2006...former Wheat Kings' captain Keith Aulie scored his first career NHL goal Tuesday night in Toronto's 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders. You can see the goal at

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