Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Nejezchleb Rounding Into Form

Richard Nejezchleb has three goals, five points
in the last six games
  The Brandon Wheat Kings look for back-to-back wins for the first time since September when they host the Saskatoon Blades on Tuesday night (7:05 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  It'll be Brandon's first game without leading scorer Alessio Bertaggia, who left Sunday to join Switzerland's team for the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championship.

  Bertaggia had 16 goals and 34 points this season and has been involved in 38 per cent of Brandon's goals so far in 2012-2013.

  The Wheat Kings will be looking to players to pick up the scoring slack, and one player who could help in that regard is fellow import Richard Nejezchleb.

  Nejezchleb has three goals and five points in the last six games and seems to have made a positive step in his adjustment to North America.

  "It's pretty fast hockey, it's tough and it's hard for me," said Nejezchleb after Monday's practice, "I feel I've gained some strength here, I'm developing here.  It's a good experience for everyone."

  It's been an up-and-down rookie season for Nejezchleb, who missed 15 games in October / November with a shoulder injury and only seemed to get on track when he was placed on a line with Bertaggia and Jayce Hawryluk a half-dozen games ago.

  "The last few games, I've played like I used to play," added Nejezchleb, "I think this is the biggest part of my development is the practice and the stuff in the gym because I'm preparing very hard."

  Overall this season, Nejezchleb had four points and 10 points in 16 games this season along with a +4 rating -- one of only five Brandon players on the positive side of the ledger.

  Bertaggia's absence won't be the only one for the Wheat Kings on Tuesday night.

  Tim McGauley (suspected concussion) and Jack Palmer (upper body) both skated in no-contact jerseys at practice Monday are are doubtful to play Tuesday while Tyrel Seaman, who's believed to be working through his third concussion in the last 12 months, has yet to resume skating with the team.

Chaff...the Blades got off to a rough start to the season but have gone 10-5-0-1 in their last 16 games and are currently a game above .500 at 15-14-0-1...former Wheat King Brendan Walker has 10 goals and 26 points in 30 games with the Blades this season and enters Tuesday's contest with seven goals and 15 points in the last seven games...Brandon goaltender Corbin Boes is 1-1-1 with a 2.89 GAA and .919 SPCT in his last three starts, stopping 102 of 111 shots over 188 minutes...the Wheat Kings are 7-0-0-0 this season when scoring four or more goals.

No comments: