Friday, 28 October 2011

Wheat Kings, Melnychuk Set for Return to WCGP

Brodie Melnychuk
 Fans will get to see the Brandon Wheat Kings for the first time in three weeks tonight, and defenceman Brodie Melnychuk for the first time all season when Brandon hosts the Moose Jaw Warriors (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

The fifth-year defenceman fractured his wrist during training camp and has been sidelined for the past two months.

"It's been tough being out of the lineup, I wouldn't wish it on anybody but that's part of the game. It happens, and you have to deal with it when it does," said Melnychuk after practice on Thursday, "I'm moving the puck fine and I can get pucks on net so I'll been playing my game."

One of Melnychuk's challenges as he prepare to return to the lineup tonight was getting up to speed on how the Wheat Kings want to play, since he hadn't practiced under first-year head coach Cory Clouston until this week.

"They changed certain things but it's hockey and, at the end of the day, you just play your game and stick to the systems," said Melnychuk, who had seven goals and 28 points in 58 games last season, "You pick that stuff up pretty quick and you're right back in it."

Melnychuk's return leaves three Wheat Kings in sick bay.

Dominick Favreau is a couple of weeks away after having knee surgery earlier this week, Bruno Mraz practiced in a no-contact jersey Thursday as he makes his way back from a suspected concussion while Jens Meilleur skated after practice Thursday but is still 2-3 weeks away from returning.

Chaff...Roblin product and Wheat Kings' prospect Jayce Hawryluk scored twice in Manitoba's 6-3 loss to Alberta at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup on Thursday. Manitoba faces Saskatchewan today...A victory tonight would be a historic one for the Wheat Kings' franchise. The club is seeking its 1,500th victory since joining the Western Hockey League prior to the 1967-68 season. In 44 seasons in the WHL, including 2011-2012, Brandon's overall record is 1499 wins, 1393 losses, 171 ties, 29 overtime losses and 28 shootout losses.

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