Thursday, 24 October 2013

Brandon Set to Start Six-Game Road Trip

Ryan Pulock takes a break during
Thursday's practice in Spokane
  The Brandon Wheat Kings open a six-game road trip Friday night when they visit the Spokane Chiefs (8:35 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

  The Chiefs are a WHL-best 10-3-0-0 this season and lead a very competitive U.S. Division, whose five teams are a combined 42-19-2-3 so far this season – a .674 winning percentage.

  “The teams have had good starts and are pretty strong teams, but at the same time, I think we’re playing pretty decent hockey right now and we’re still getting better and better every day,” said Brandon’s Ryan Pulock after the Wheat Kings’ practice in Spokane Thursday, “It’s a good chance for us to get out on the road like this and play some good teams and battle.  It could be a very big trip for us.”

  Pulock is one of just three Wheat Kings that have experienced Brandon’s prolonged road trip into the U.S. Division prior to this season (fellow blueliners Eric Roy and Rene Hunter are the others).

  Despite that fact, Pulock doesn’t feel they’ll need to provide a lot of guidance to the club’s younger players.

  “I think it’s the same as the B.C. roady.  You just have stay focused.  You’re here for one reason, and that’s for hockey...it’s not a holiday,” said Pulock, “You have to keep guys focused, travelling to different cities, seeing new things.  You have to keep your mindset on hockey and we have a lot of young guys in the room that are willing to do that so I think it’ll be pretty easy.”

  As far Friday’s contest, if the Wheat Kings are to get a positive result, one of their top priorities will be to limit WHL scoring leader Mitch Holmberg.

  The task of shutting down Holmberg, who has 16 goals and 32 points in 13 games this season, will likely fall to the Brandon defence pairing of Pulock and Nick Walters.

  “Every game, you kind of have your matchup and you what guy you’re going to try and be out there against and try to shut down,” said Pulock, “Me and Wally have had some of the top line matchups so far and I think it’ll be good for us to get out there and try and shut him down.  Obviously, he’s had a great start and it’d be a great goal for us to be even players and give him nothing offensively.”

  Brandon is not reporting any injuries going into Friday’s contest while the Chiefs will be missing a pair of forwards.

  Liam Stewart and Adam Helewka are both nursing injuries and were listed as week-to-week on this week’s WHL Injury Report.

Chaff...the Lethbridge Hurricanes traded F Jaimen Yakubowski, 19, and F Sam McKechnie, 19, to the Seattle Thunderbirds Thursday for F Riley Sheen, 19, F Carter Folk, 17, and a third round pick in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft...the Chiefs were #3 in this week’s CHL Top Ten Rankings.

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