Monday, 15 October 2012

Buonassisi Triple Homecoming Highlight of Trip

Nick Buonassisi
It’ll be a triple homecoming for centre Nick Buonassisi on the Brandon Wheat Kings’ 14-day, seven-game road trip that begins tomorrow night in Medicine Hat (7:35 p.m., 880 CKLQ).
Buonassisi will get a chance to face both of his former teams in the Lethbridge Hurricanes (Wednesday) and Prince George Cougars (October 27) during the course of the trip.

The 20-year old Bounassisi, who was acquired from Lethbridge in August, will also get the chance to play in Vancouver next Wednesday in an arena that is just minutes away from his hometown of Coquitlam, B.C.

“One of the first things I did was look at the schedule and I was hoping that we were going to B.C. instead of the States and luckily we were,” said Bonassisi Monday after the Wheat Kings’ practiced before embarking on the first leg of the trek, “I’m going to get to go home, see my friends and family for my finale there at the Coliseum so I’m looking forward to that game especially.”

Brandon’s trip East will be a little different for Buonassisi but somewhat the same as he’s had the ‘misfortune’ to spend much of his WHL career with two of the teams that spend the most time on the road in the Prince George Cougars and, now, the Brandon Wheat Kings.

“It’s definitely different going from the flatlands to the mountains this time rather than the other way around,” said Buonassisi, “I know what to expect from all the teams over there, and I’ve done this trip many times so it’s more so showing the younger guys have to take care of their bodies because it’s going to be a grind and some tough games, especially near the end of the trip.”

The Wheat Kings have ten players that are making the club’s annual ‘West Coast Road Trip’ including rookie forward Jayce Hawryluk.

“I’m just super excited. It’s nice to get away for a couple of weeks,” said Hawryluk, “I have family done there that are going to come and watch so I’m just excited.”

Hawryluk is one of nine rookies on the trip while third-year forward Jens Meilleur is on the trip for the first time having missed the excursions in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 because of injury.

Brandon is in a mini-slump as they prepare for the first game of the trip Tuesday in Medicine Hat.

The Wheat Kings have lost two in a row and four of their last five games.

Chaff…F Richard Nejezchleb (upper body, day-to-day) missed practice on Monday…the Wheat Kings assigned F Quintin Lisoway, 17, to the MJHL’s Steinbach Pistons Monday. The moves leaves Brandon with 24 players on their roster – 14 forwards, eight defencemen and two goaltenders...in addition to Buonassisi, rookie Jack Palmer (Victoria) and defenceman Ayrton NIkkel (Kelowna) are also British Columbia products. It’s the first time Brandon has had three or more players from B.C. on their roster to start the season since the 2001-2002 season…the last time Brandon made the trip to the B.C. Division in 2010, they finished with a 2-4-0-1 record.

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