Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Early Season Test for Wheat Kings

Tyrel Seaman
  It's a good early-season test for the Brandon Wheat Kings tonight as they entertain the Saskatoon Blades (7:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  The Blades are hosting the 2013 Memorial Cup next spring and are generally considered as one of the favourites in the WHL's Eastern Conference.

  "They're going to have a good club coming in here as Memorial Cup hosts.  They've made a lot of moves over the summer to improve their squad so it's going to be a good test for the guys," said Brandon centre Tyrel Seaman after Tuesday's practice, "It'll be good to show us where we're at, what we need to work on and that kind of stuff.  There's stll lots of learning to do here with the young guys we've got but it'll good for them to see what the better teams are going to be like, to."

  The Wheat Kings have opened their season by sweeping the Regina Pats in a home-and-home series.

  Those two victories have given the host the first-year players on Brandon's roster a boost of confidence.

  "The younger guys have gained confidence with that, they know what it takes to win in this league," said Seaman, "It's good to get points, those will be four points from early in the season that they can't get back now but it' going to be a test on Wednesday."

  Wednesday's game marks the first time Brenden Walker will face his former team since the Wheat Kings traded him to Saskatoon during the WHL Bantam Draft on May 3rd.

  "He's a good player, he's tough to watch but it'll be a good test for us too playing against them older guys on their team and their better lines," added Seaman.

  Walker spent three seasons in Brandon, recording 60 goals and 152 points in 197 career regular season games and four goals and nine points in 15 playoff games.

  Brandon acquired a 2nd round pick in the 2012 Bantam Draft (D Tanner Browne), 2nd and 3rd round picks in 2013 and an option to swap 1st round picks in the 2014 Bantam Draft in exchange for Walker.

Chaff...Walker led Brandon in scoring in the head-to-head games with Saskatoon last season, recording five goals and 11 points in eight contests as Brandon went 3-5-0-0 versus the Blades...F Geordie Maguire and F Jayce Hawryluk are not expected to play Wednesday. Hawryluk practiced without restrictions Tuesday as he continues to make his way back from a concussion while Maguire has a lower-body injury...Jens Meilleur's game-winning goal last Friday night was the first of his Western Hockey League career...Tyrel Seaman had three points (2 G, 1 A) on Saturday for the first three-point game of his WHL career...Alessio Bertaggia's four-point game (1 G, 3 A) on Saturday was also a career high.

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