Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Boes Looks for Playoff Redemption

Corbin Boes feels more ready for playoff action
in his sophmore season
Corbin Boes might be looking for a little redemption when the Brandon Wheat Kings open the 2012 Western Hockey League playoffs.

Boes alllowed 19 goals over the final seven periods at last spring's first round playoff loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers and finished the post-season with a 5.42 goals against average and .831 save percentage.

Playing into the equation was a concussion suffering by Boes' partner, Liam Liston, between Games 3 and 4 that knocked him out for the rest of the post-season -- essentially taking away any safety net he had.

"We had Medicine Hat up 4-2 going into the third, up 2-1 in the series and we let that game go and it just went downhill from there for us. I think a lot of the guys were young last year, a lot of them the first time in the playoffs including myself," said Boes after Tuesday's practice, "I think this time around, we'll be able to handle the emotions, take things game-by-game and I think we're going to be a lot better this year."

This season, Boes heads into the playoffs on a high note. He finished with a 12-4-1 record with a 2.45 GAA and .930 SPCT in his last 18 appearances and finished with the third-best save percentage in the WHL for the entire season at .916.

"I think, just for myself, it's just been a more consistent effort, work harder and more consistently throughout the year through practice," said Boes, "The results have come through working hard this year and that's the main reason I'm feeling confident going into the playoffs. We're playing good hockey as well so that helps."

Boes return from a seven-week absence due to a broken hand in late January coincided with the Wheat Kings ending a lengthy slump and getting their season turned around.

Boes had just started to claim the #1 goaltending job with Brandon at the time of the injury, but feels his time away from playing may, in a small way, be partially responsible for his strong play over the past two months.

"I had a lot of time to work on things, such as lateral movement and stuff like that, and I think it has really paid dividends in my game so far," said Boes, "I feel like I'm in better shape, mentally stronger from something like that and it's something you learn from."

The strong play down the stretch by the 6-foot-3, 216 pound Boes has, perhaps, also put him back on the radar of NHL scouts.

Boes was ranked 187th for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in the most recent edition of the Red Line Report, which would put him somewhere in the middle of the sixth round this June. was nearly all hands on deck for the Wheat Kings at practice on Tuesday, with only F Dylan Kuczek (shoulder) absent. Kevin Sunder, Rene Hunter, Daniel Asham and Bruno Mraz all practiced without restrictions, giving Brandon 14 forwards, seven defencemen and three goaltenders on the ice. Sundher missed 13 of the last 14 games of the regular season with suspected concussion while Hunter (6 games), Asham (6 games) and Mraz (2 games) were also out of the lineup as the regular season came to an end.

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