Monday, 18 March 2013

Wheat Kings Head Separate Ways

Ryan Pulock
  It was 'Green Garbage Bag Day' for the Brandon Wheat Kings on Sunday as the club met as a team for the final time and cleaned out their dressimg roon stalls.

  The Wheat Kings concluded their Western Hockey League season Saturday and finished out of the playoffs with a 24-40-4-4 record.

  Brandon captain Ryan Pulock says missing the post-season for the first time in 13 years should be motivation for the team during the 5 1/2 month off-season.

  "Not making the playoffs, it doesn't feel great.  It kind of gives you a bad feeling and, hopefully, guys can take that feeling and turn it into next year," said Pulock on Sunday, "Come out, learn from this year and hard work next year and turn it around."

  Despite missing the post-season, there were some positives for the Wheat Kings including the play of 16-yaer old Jayce Hawryluk, who finished second among 1996-born (16-year old) players and tenth in rookie scoring in the WHL with 43 points.

  "You're never satisfied until you win a championship and I think, for myself, I could have done better in some places and areas that I need to work this summer," said Hawryluk, "I think, overall, it wasn't too bad for myself but I wasn't satisfied with how we did as a team and I just think next year will be a big year."

  Tim McGauley finished seventh in rookie scoring and tied for the team lead with 45 points while several other younger players also get some whiskers during the course of the season.

  As the off-season begins, there's not a lot to look forward to but for Ryan Pulock, he has June 30th circled on his calendar.

  That's when the 2013 NHL Draft will be held in New Jersey, where Pulock is projected to be a first round pick.

  "I guess my play as a hockey player is done now, I can't really show anything else," said Pulock, "I think, right now, it's time to start getting focused for the combine, get stronger and help myself out a bit there."

  The combine should be held in early June in advance of the NHL Draft.

Chaff...Brandon will have a 19 per cent chance of winning the WHL Draft Lottery on Wednesday...Braylon Shmyr and the Calgary Buffaloes are headed to a fifth and deciding game with the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs in the Chrysler Division Final in the AMHL.  Red Deer won Game #4 4-2 yesterday to tie the Best-of-Five series 2-2.  Game #5 is tomorrow with the winner meeting Jordan Papirny and the SSAC Athletics in the League Final...former Brandon Wheat King Jason Chimera finally has his first goal of the season.  Chimera broke his goose egg in Washington's 5-3 victory over Buffalo yesterday in the Capitals 28th game of the season.  Chimera scored 20 goals for the Caps last year.

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