Friday, 1 April 2011

Wheat Kings Try to Power Way Past Tigers in Game #5

The Brandon Wheat Kings hope their power-play will continue to be lethal when they visit the Medicine Hat Tigers in Game #5 of their Eastern Conference Quarter-Final series on Saturday night (8:00 p.m., CKLQ).

Brandon is 9-for-24 (37.5%) in the series after operating at close to a 35 per cent mark (24-for-69) over the final 15 games in the regular season.

“Everyone realizes how important special teams are in the playoffs. When you get that opportunity, you have to capitalize on that opportunity,” said Brandon captain Shayne Wiebe after the Wheat Kings’ brief workout in Medicine Hat on Friday, “I think we’re doing a good job of realizing that’s what we have to do.”

Brandon has scored 19 goals overall in the first four games of the series, meaning nearly half of their goals have come when they’ve had the man advantage.

However, Wiebe feels they’ve created lots of chances 5-on-5 as well.

“We’ve definitely created chances 5-on-5, but we’ve seen some spurts where we haven’t been as good, but that’s all in our hands,” said Wiebe, who leads Brandon in playoff scoring with three goals and seven points, “I think if we play to our capabilities in the 5-on-5 play, we’ll be fine.”

Wiebe looks like he’ll have a new linemate for Game #5, as David Toews manned the right-winger with Wiebe and fellow 20-year old Matt MacKay in practice on Thursday while Mark Stone was on a line with Scott Glennie and Michael Ferland.

Brenden Walker (concussion) and goaltender Liam Liston (concussion) both missed practice on Friday and are not expected to play in Game #5 on Saturday night.

Brandon did not have a second goaltender in practice Friday.

Meanwhile, it looks like Medicine Hat could be getting some reinforcements back for Game #5.

Hunter Shinkaruk will return after missing Game #4 while serving a one-game suspension while Tyler Bunz practiced fully on Friday.

Bunz has been sidelined since Game #1 with a concussion.

Chaff…Scott Glennie has 35 career playoff points, and is three points shy of tying Kelly Smart and Bob Brown for 15th-place on the club’s all-time playoff scoring list… 11 Brandon players have made their WHL playoff debuts in this series…this the first time in WHL history that a series between the Wheat Kings and Medicine Hat has been tied 2-2…Michael Ferland has three goals in 19 career playoff games, all of them coming during his first career WHL playoff hat-trick during Game #1 of Brandon’s second round series against Saskatoon last spring, a 6-5 win on April 2, 2010.

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