Thursday, 19 January 2012

Swyripa Brandon's 'Ironman'

Jason Swyripa
Jason Swyripa is officially the Brandon Wheat Kings undisputed ironman.

Eric Roy’s injury means the second-year forward is the only member of the Wheat Kings to appear in all 46 games this season after being one of just two players to play in all 72 games in his rookie season a year ago.

“Nope, none at all,” said Swyripa on Thursday when asked if there was any secret to being able to be in the lineup every night, “You just play hard every night and I’ve been fortunate enough not to get hurt.”

Swyripa has produced six goals and 14 points so far this season, offensive numbers that appear to be a little disappointing considering his nine goal, 22 point totals from a year ago.

“I thought I’d step up a little more but it’ll come. Things haven’t been going my way but once the team starts to pull through here, hopefully, things start to go my way and things start to click,” said Swyripa, “I’m going to keep on doing what I can do to contribute to the team.”

Brandon returns to action Friday night with a second straight matchup in Saskatoon against the Blades (6:35 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

The club is hopeful that Wednesday’s 6-4 win over the Blades is the start of a similar run to a year ago, when Brandon won 18 of their final 25 regular season games.

“We just came together more as a team last year at this point of the season. We just have to keep working hard and bonding as a group and I think we can pull through here,” said Swyripa, “It’s all a mentality…we’re in it for each other here.”

On Friday night, the Wheat Kings will be looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since November 30 – December 2.

Brandon enters Friday’s game in eighth-place in the Eastern Conference, six points ahead of ninth-place Red Deer and four behind the seventh-place Calgary Hitmen.

Chaff…after Friday, the Wheat Kings return home for a matchup against the Kootenay Ice on Saturday night (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place). It’ll be Brandon’s only home game between now and February 3rd…four of the top seven scorers in the WHL this season are from Winnipeg. Wheat Kings’ captain Mark Stone (3rd), Adam Hughesman and Brendan Shinnimmin from Tri-City (4th and 7th respectively) and Edmonton’s Michael St. Croix (6th)…Brandon has qualified for the WHL playoffs for 11 straight years and 18 of the last 19 seasons. The 11 straight is the 2nd-longest active streak in the WHL, behind the Kootenay Ice (13).

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