Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Depth in Scoring Key so far for Wheat Kings

Jason Swyripa has been a big part of Brandon's
scoring depth so far in this series
One of the keys to the Brandon Wheat Kings’ success in the opening three games of their playoff series against Calgary has been their depth in scoring.

Eight different Wheat Kings have scored a goal in the series and 14 different players have registered at least one point.

Among them is Jason Swyripa, who has two points including the first goals of the series in Game #1 last Thursday, which also happened to be his first goal since December 13th.

“Ya’ know, you don’t really think about it too much, goals will come,” said Swyripa after Brandon’s workout in Winnipeg on Monday, “Sometimes you just get a lucky break and a bounce will come your way but, either way, you have to bring energy to the team. It’s all about momentum, especially if you’re an energy player, and goals will come.”

Swyripa has formed an effective ‘energy line’ with Tyrel Seaman and Dominick Favreau for the Wheat Kings, allowing Brandon to have a fairly lengthy bench throughout the series so far.

“You always have to bring energy, no matter what,” added Swyripa, “Coming into the playoffs, everyone has to play their own role and my role is to bring energy to the team…that’s what you need out of a fourth line.”

Brandon takes a 2-1 series lead into Game #4 of their Eastern Conference Quarter-Final series Tuesday night (7:00 p.m., MTS Centre).

The Wheat Kings had a similar lead against Medicine Hat in the opening round in 2011 before watching the Tigers win the next three games and end their season.

However, this year’s Brandon group is a little older and, perhaps, a little wiser.

“We worked out butts off to get to this point this year and we’re not just going to roll over. We know they’re going to come out hard too, and they’re a great team,” said Swyripa, “We need keep doing what we’re going. I think the little bit more of experience we have this year brings a little bit more to the table.”

Brandon also got a bit of positive news on the injury front Monday as defenceman Rene Hunter practiced without restrictions.

Hunter has missed the past nine games, including the first three of the playoffs, with an upper body injury.

Chaff...a busy Monday for WHL disciplinarian Rick Doerksen, who doled out seven suspensions. One game each for Saskatoon’s Darren Dietz, Portland’s Oliver Gabriel, Moose Jaw’s Cody Beach and Everett’s Ryan Harrison; a two-game suspension for Kamloops’ Austin Madaisky and TBD suspensions for Everett’s Manraj Hayer and Kelowna’s Brett Bulmer. Everett was also fined $500 for violating the league’s Social Media and Networking policy...the Wheat Kings plan to honour the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League champion Winnipeg Wild prior to Tuesday's contest.

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