Friday, February 22, 2013

Wheat Kings Relish Spoiler Role

Jens Meilleur and the Wheat Kings will try to be spoilers
on Friday night in Saskatoon
  The Brandon Wheat Kings will pay a visit to the Saskatoon Blades for the second time in five days on Friday night (6:35 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

  The Wheat Kings fell 5-1 in Saskatoon on Monday night, a game in which Brandon was outshot 37-10 and outscored 4-0 over the final 40 minutes.

  Saskatoon is looking for a franchise-record 14th consecutive victory Friday night and the Wheat Kings would like nothing better than to crash the party.

  "That's lit a lot of fire under us," said Brandon forward Jens Meilleur after Thursday's practice, "We know we can stop them from doing something special and put a damper on their party so we should be excited about that."

  It'd be nice to turn the tide and bump them off that streak and start one of our own," added Wheat Kings' forward Jason Swyripa, "Whenever you could get points in their barn and take a win away from a team that's on a streak like that, you'd feel pretty good about yourself."

  Stopping Saskatoon from breaking their franchise-record win-streak that was set by the 1987-88 edition of the Blades would be one motivation for a Wheat Kings' team that is 13 points out of a playoff spot.

  The other incentive might be to prove to themselves that they can compete against one of the top teams in the Western Hockey League.

  "If we can beat teams like that, it'll not only send a message to other teams but it'll be a confident booster for ourselves," said Meilleur.

  Brandon is 2-15-0-0 against the top four teams in the Eastern Conference (Edmonton, Saskatoon, Calgary and Prince Albert) and, to add insult to injury, the Wheat Kings are 0-5-0-1 against the top six teams in the Western Conference (Portland, Kelowna, Kamloops, Tri-City, Spokane and Victoria).

  Both of those victories came over the Blades.

Chaff...former Wheat King Michael Ferland was suspended for one game by the Western Hockey League on Thursday after being assessed a cross-checking major in Saskatoon's 5-1 win over Moose Jaw Wednesday. The Blades forward will miss Friday's tilt against Brandon...the Wheat Kings have the lowest penalty-minute total in the WHL at 863 this season. That's an average of 14.15 PIM's per game...Brandon concludes their two-game Saskatchewan road trip Sunday in Swift Current...some stats for the Blades 13-game win streak.  Saskatoon has outscored their opponents 63-20.  They are 15-for-57 on the power-play (26.3%) and 55-for-58 (94.8%) on the penalty-kill and Blades' netminder Andrey Makarov is 13-0 with a 1.65 GAA and .954 SPCT during the streak.

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