Friday, 15 June 2012

Former Captain Celebrates AHL Title

Keith Aulie is celebrating an American Hockey League championship.

The former Wheat Kings' captain helped the Norfolk Admirals capture the Calder Cup last week, posting six points and a +7 rating in 18 playoff games.

"That's what every hockey player wants to be is a champion. Winning in the playoffs is pretty cool," said Aulie earlier this week, "The group of guys here was so close, such a tightly-knit group that it was fun coming here and getting into that group...then the whole playoff run, we were such a good team, it was fun to be a part of."

In addition to his AHL experience in 2011-2012, Aulie also saw 19 games of action with Tampa Bay after being dealt to the Lightning by Toronto at the NHL trade deadline in March.

"I really enjoyed my time there and I got some good feedback from them," said Aulie, who had one assist, a -5 rating while averaging just under 13 1/2 minutes of ice time with the Lightning, "I'm looking forward to getting back there in the fall."

The Admirals set an AHL record by recording 28 straight wins to close out the regular season and, including the playoffs, finished the year by going 43-3 over their last 46 games which included a sweep of Aulie's former team, the Toronto Marlies, in the Calder Cup Final.

"The first thing that I thought when I got sent down was not to lose the first one and lose the streak when I get there," said Aulie, who becomes a restricted free agent this summer, "All those guys are buddies but at the same time, you're in June and playing hockey. You want to win so bad that it's pretty intense out there."

Aulie feels the experience of a long playoff run which culminated in a championship will only help him as a player moving forward.

"That's when everything is ramped up and everything matters so much more," said Aulie, "You can play all you want in the regular season but you're never going to get as much out of it as you will in the playoffs. It's just like another little season in its known and it's a real fun time to play."

Chaff...former Brandon Wheat King Matt McKay has signed a one-year contract with Schwenninger of the German Second Division. McKay had 18 goals and 54 points in 33 games with Duisburg of the German Third Division last season...today is the Brandon Wheat Kings Early Bird Season Ticket Deadline. As of Thursday afternoon, the club had sold just over 1,400 season tickets...13 WHL players were among the 40 invited by Hockey Canada to the U18 Selection Camp for the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in August including Winnipeg product Madison Bowey of the Kelowna Rockets. The complete roster can be found here...Hockey Manitoba released its final evaluation roster for their U16 team for the Western Canada Challenge Cup.  Among those on the 26-player roster is Wheat Kings' prospect Kirklan Lycar.

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