Thursday, 5 September 2013

McGauley Hoping to Build on Rookie Campaign

Tim McGauley
  Tim McGauley is hoping for bigger things in his second full season with the Brandon Wheat Kings.

  McGauley tied for the team scoring lead during his rookie season in 2012-2013, scoring 17 goals and 45 points in 66 games.

  The 18-year old was particularly strong in the second half of the season, scoring six goals and 28 points in 32 games after the January 10th trade deadline.

  "At the end of last season, I was just a lot more confident in myself.  This year, I'm going to be even more confident that I was last year," said McGauley after practice on Wednesday, "I know the guys a lot more and I believe we're going to come together as a group a lot quicker this year.  This year, it's just confience.  I'm a lot more comfortable in the league and I think I've proved to myself that I can play here."

  McGauley will be one of the players counted on to make strides in his offensive game as the Wheat Kings try to improve on the 189 goals they scored last season.

  It was the first time in the franchise's WHL history that they had scored fewer than 200 goals in a single season.

  "First goal is to get to the playoffs," said the 6-foot-0, 182 pound McGauley, "After last season, it was a little upsetting not to make the playoff so this year, our number one goal is to make the playoffs and that's what we really need to focus on."

  Additionally, the Wheat Kings surrendered the most goals (284) they had in more than two decades, so there's a lot of improvement needed at both ends of the ice.

  Improvement in both areas will enhance the Wheat Kings' chances of improving by the 15-20 points likely necessary to garner a playoff spot this season.

  McGauley is one of 27 players currently on the Wheat Kings' pre-season roster than have one of fewer seasons of experience in the WHL and the Wilcox, Saskatchewan product is looking forward to growing with his young teammates.

  "It's going to be really nice because we have a lot of great young players coming up.  Even the '98's we got this year are really skilled players and it's really exciting for the future," said McGauley, "The only place we can go is up from here.  These young guys are real good and it's going to be fun playing with them in the future."

  The Wheat Kings open their pre-season schedule Friday when they host the Moose Jaw Warriors (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff...the WHL's Board of Governors officially approved the sale of the Saskatoon Blades from the Brodsky family to Edmonton-based auto dealer Mike Priestner on Wednesday.  Priestner is the father of former Wheat Kings' goaltender James Priestner...former Wheat King David Toews signed with the ECHL's Reading Royals on Wednesday...ex Wheat King Jakub Sindl has signed a one-year extension with Fassa in the Italian League...Thursday is 'Season Ticket Pick-up Day' from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. in the parking lot at the Keystone Centre.

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