Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Wheat Kings Set to Open Camp

Jens Meilleur
  The Brandon Wheat Kings are on the verge of opening their 2013 training camp.

  The returning players met Monday night and begin three days of fitness testing on Tuesday, while the rookie hopefuls will register on Tuesday night and hit the ice for the first time Wednesday morning.

  "We're all excited, "said fourth-year forward Jens Meilleur says they're anxious to get the year started, "We're not going to dwell on last season, but we're going to let it burn, we're going to let is sit there and get us motivated."

  The Wheat Kings are coming off their first non-playoff season in 13 years, finishing the 2012-2013 campaign with 24 wins and 56 points.

  It'll likely take at least eight more wins and/or 16 more points for the Wheat Kings to be in the playoff picture in 2013-2014 but Meilleur believes they have what it takes to get there.

  "We have to have a good work ethic, and we have to be disciplined," said Meilleur, "We have Kelly (McCrimmon) behind the bench now and I think he may, singlehandedly, get us those eight wins...he gets the best out of all of his players."

  2012-2013 was a rebuilding year for the Wheat Kings as, by the end of the season, the club was regularly dressing ten rookie players.

  Those ten are now second-year players but they'll likely be joined by another crop of 8-10 rookies by the time the curtain comes down on the team's training camp on Sunday, meaning this year's Wheat Kings' squad will still be a fairly young team.

  That means leadership from more experienced players like Meilleur will be one of the keys.

  "I have to be a responsible leader, I have to hold guys accountable and I have to hold myself accountable," said Meilleur, "I have to work sure I'm going the right things so that everyone else can follow."

  Meilleur is one of only eight Wheat Kings that has more than one season of experience in the Western Hockey League.

Chaff...the Wheat Kings announced plans to launch an official mobile application for Apple, Android and BlackBerry devices on Monday.  The free mobile app will be available later this week by searching 'Wheat Kings' in iTunes, Google Play or BlackBerry App World.

Wheat Kings' 2013 Training Camp Schedule
(all sessions at Westman Communications Group Place)

Rookie Camp
Team White practice, 8 a.m.
Black vs. Gold scrimmage, 9:30 a.m.
Team Black practice, 5 p.m.
White vs. Gold scrimmage, 6:30 p.m.
Team Gold practice, 9 a.m.
White vs. Black scrimmage, 10:30 a.m.
Rookie Intrasquad Game, 6 p.m.

Main Camp
Team White practice, 8 a.m.
Black vs. Gold scrimmage, 10:30 a.m.
Team Black practice, 5 p.m.
White vs. Gold scrimmage, 6:30 p.m.
Team Gold practice, 8 a.m.
White vs. Black scrimmage, 9:30 a.m.
Scrimmage game, 6 p.m.
Intrasquad Game, 2 p.m.

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