Monday, 21 March 2011

Wheat Kings Get Set for Tigers

The Brandon Wheat Kings are getting set for the first round of the Western Hockey League playoffs.

The Wheat Kings will face the Medicine Hat Tigers, with the opening two games this Friday and Saturday in Medicine Hat.

"Medicine Hat have had a great season. They had 100 points, and it's not often a team gets 100 points in the WEstern Hockey League," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon said on Monday's Coaches' Corner on CKLQ, "They have really played well from start to finish. They've got the scoring leader in Linden Vey, they have a real heart-and-soul player in Wacey Hamilton, Emerson Etem, a first round pick that had 45 goals, so they're a real deep hockey club."

The Wheat Kings and Tigers split their four-game season series, with each team winning both of their home games.

The Tigers will likely have the edge when it comes to playoff experience, with Brandon having 12 players who've never appeared in a WHL post-season game and just 175 games of playoff experience.

However, that's not something that concerns McCrimmon.

"With our young guys, for whatever reason but it's probably primarily attributible to the fact that they've played so much this year, they don't seem to get too fazed by some of this stuff that gets put in front of them," said McCrimmon, "This will be similar in that respect, they'll just get ready and play and see what happens."

Brodie Melnychuk and Scott Glennie lead the way for the Wheat Kings with 33 games each of playoff experience.

Chaff...Brandon headed to Winnipeg on Monday for a practice at the MTS Centre. The Wheat Kings will play Games #3, #4 and #6 (if necessary) in Winnipeg with WCGP not available because of the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair...Brandon hasn't played at the MTS Centre since March of 2006, but have played there 11 times overall. They sport a 9-2 record at the facility, which opened in 2005...the Wheat Kings and Tigers' last regular season meeting in February 11 ended unusually when Michael Ferland scored his hat-trick goal on a penalty shot in overtime in Brandon's 6-5 win.

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