Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Game #52 - Saskatoon at Wheat Kings (January 30, 2013)

Goaltenders
35. Curtis Honey
33. Jordan Papirny

Defencemen
3. Tyler Yaworski - 2. Ryan Pulock
25. Nick Walters - 7. Eric Roy
5. Colton Waltz - 9. Rene Hunter
10. Kord Pankewicz

Forwards
29. Nick Buonassisi - 20. Chad Robinson - 15. Jack Palmer
19. Taylor Cooper - 23. Tim McGauley - 24. Jens Meilleur
22. Marek Kalus - 8. Jayce Hawryluk - 17. John Quenneville
26. Geordie Maguire - 28. Quintin Lisiway

Notes
- The Brandon Wheat Kings will sit G Corbin Boes (knee), F Richard Nejezchleb (hand/thumb), F Tyrel Seaman (concussion) and F Jason Swyripa (unknown). I presume Swyripa may be out with illness as he did participate fully in practice on Tuesday.

- The Wheat Kings spent a good deal of time Tuesday working on their power-play, and for good reason.  Brandon hasn't scored in 26 straight power-play chances and are just 6-for-58 (10.3%) in 15 games since the Christmas break.  In fact, Brandon has scored just one more power-play goal (5) than shorthanded goals they've allowed (4) in 12 games during the month of January.

- With 235 shots against in the last five games (47 per game), there's no doubt Brandon needs to tighten up defensively.  Overall this season, the Wheat Kings have allowed 1,815 shots in 51 games (35.6 per game).

- Brandon is currently 11 games under .500 (18-29-2-2).  Looking back at the WHL records, I don't believe the Wheat Kings have been 12 games under .500 since finishing the 1999-2000 season with a 25-38-5 record -- coincidentally, that was the last time Brandon missed the playoffs.

- Saskatoon (23-20-0-3) is sitting in eighth-place in the Eastern Conference but are just three points out of fifth, seven points out of fourth and 11 points behind the East Division leading Prince Albert Raiders.  When the Blades visited Brandon last Tuesday, I thought it might have been their best game of the season so maybe the Memorial Cup hosts are starting to figure things out.  Honestly, as much as Brandon is chasing the Blades right now for a playoff spot, I'd think it would be more realistic for Brandon to beat out Medicine Hat, Swift Current or Lethbridge than Saskatoon.

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