Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Hawryluk Set to Return

Jayce Hawryluk returns to the Brandon lineup Tuesday
after serving a two-game suspension
  The Brandon Wheat Kings will have their leading scorer back in the lineup when they host the Kamloops Blazers on Tuesday night (7:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  Jayce Hawryluk returns after missing the last two games with a league-imposed suspension for a hit on Regina defenceman Kyle Burroughs last Wednesday.

  There was no penalty called at the time, but Hawryluk was suspended after the Pats asked for supplemental discipline from the WHL office.

  "Some time off that I didn't want, but that's how it went and I'm excited to get back in the lineup," said Hawryluk after Monday's practice, "We have three huge games coming up, all on home ice.  We want to get all three wins and be five games over .500 going into the Christmas break.  That would be huge for us."

  In addition to hosting Kamloops on Tuesday, the Wheat Kings also entertain the Kelowna Rockets on Friday and Moose Jaw on Saturday before having a 12-day break for Christmas.

  "We know these three games will come in handy at the end of the season so we have to make sure we give 100 per cent here," said centre Tim McGauley, "These six points here over the next three games are big for our club."

  Brandon carries at 16-14-2-0 record into the week, good for a tie for seventh-place in the Eastern Conference.

  However, the Wheat Kings have been spotty on home ice, going 8-5-1-0 including losses in four of their last seven games (3-3-1-0) at WCGP.

  Brandon is 7-3-2-0 in their last 12 games, with the club's power-play part of the reason why.

  The Wheat Kings have scored 16 power-play goals in that span, with a 31.4 per cent success rate.

  "We have some really good offensive guys on our team.  As long as we get down there and set up, we're really dangerous," said McGauley, "It's just a matter of positioning.  We're in the right spots and it's just a matter of finding our players, so."

  Brandon is not reporting any injuries heading into Tuesday's contest though defenceman Eric Roy did sit out practice on Monday.

  Kamloops carries a 12-game losing streak into Tuesday's game and are still without Wawanesa product Jordan Thomson, who left the team in mid-November to 'clear this head' and has yet to return.

Chaff...Tuesday's game will be the final one for Wheat Kings' F Richard Nejezchleb before he heads overseas to compete at the Czech Republic Junior Team Selection Camp and, probably, the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championship...the Blazers haven't visited Brandon since December 16, 2011, a 3-2 Kamloops victory...Tuesday night is Rain Check Night at Westman Communications Group Place as well as the first "2 for Tuesday" of the 2013-14 Western Hockey League season.

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