Friday, 21 March 2014

Playoff Primer - Wheat Kings vs Pats

Peter Quenneville won a USHL title with
the Dubuque Fighting Saints in 2013.

  The Brandon Wheat Kings visit the Regina Pats on Saturday night to open the first playoff matchup in 11 years between the East Division rivals.
  Both teams had relatively potent offences during the WHL regular season with the Wheat Kings having seven players score 20 or more goals and finishing fifth with 271 goals while the Pats had four 30-goal scorers and finished seventh in the league with 257 goals.
  Conventional wisdom suggests that both teams will find a way to score goals in this series, so whomever looks after their own end the best may be the team that comes out on top.
  “It’s important that we really take care of our own end, and that’s everybody buying in, making sure we know our matchup on the ice, making sure we know our responsibilities in the D-Zone, getting a save when we need it, but making sure we’re hard to play against” said Brandon assistant coach David Anning after Friday’s practice, “Lately, I’ve liked the way we’ve started to compete better in the D-zone, I think we’re working a lot harder and we’re a lot harder to play against.”
  Brandon allowed an average of 3.74 goals per game, the highest mark for any team in this year’s post-season.
  Offensively, the Wheat Kings got a big boost when Peter Quenneville returned to their lineup for the final two regular season games after missing the previous ten with a lower body injury.
  Quenneville brings something to the table that Brandon doesn’t have  alot of – championship experience.
  The 19-year old Quenneville helped the Dubuque Fighting Saints won the Clark Cup USHL title last spring, scoring six goals and nine points in nine playoff games in the process.
  I asked the Columbus Blue Jackets’ draft pick what he learned in the championship runs with the Fighting Saints last season.
  “Just learning how to deal with adversity, and understanding that the way you’re playing is to wear down the opponent and set yourself as the series continues,” said Quenneville, “You have to understand that wins are most important, and you have to be willing to sacrifice anything for the team.”
  Quenneville is one of 16 players on Brandon’s 24-man roster that has never appeared in a WHL playoff game.
  That’ll change tonight when the club opens their first round series in Regina.

Jens Meilleur (above), Ryan Pulock and Eric Roy lead
the Wheat Kings with 15 career playoff games each.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

SERIES SCHEDULE
Saturday, March 22 - Brandon at Regina, 8 p.m. (CDT)
Sunday, March 23 - Brandon at Regina, 8 p.m. (CDT)
Wednesday, March 26 - Regina at Brandon, 7 p.m. (CDT)
Friday, March 28 - Regina at Brandon, 7:30 p.m. (CDT)
*Saturday, March 29 - Brandon at Regina, 8 p.m. (CDT)
*Monday, March 31 - Regina vs. Brandon, 7:30 p.m. (CDT) (at Dauphin)
*Wednesday, April 2 - Brandon at Regina, 8 p.m. (CDT)

REGULAR SEASON SERIES
The Wheat Kings were 5-3-0-0 against the Pats in their season series in 2013-2014, but won just one of four games at the Brandt Centre.  Peter Quenneville led Brandon with 14 points (7 G, 7 A) in seven games against the Pats while Richard Nejezchleb has 12 points (4 G, 8 A) in eight games.  Jordan Papirny was 5-1-0 with a 2.78 GAA and .918 SPCT in six starts.  The Wheat Kings were 10-for-30 (33.3%) on the power-play and were 24-for-33 (72.7%) on the penalty-kill vs. Regina.

March 15 - Regina 3 at Brandon 6 – Peter Quenneville had a hat-trick.
March 14 - Brandon 4 at Regina 3 (OT) – Eric Roy scored a PPG in OT.
February 17 - Brandon 0 at Regina 4 – Jordan Papirny – 35 saves.
January 4 - Regina 3 at Brandon 4 (OT) – Richard Nejezchleb scored a PPG in OT.
December 28 - Brandon 4 at Regina 8 – Tim McGauley scored two goals.
December 27 - Regina 0 at Brandon 8 – Rihards Bukarts with 2 G, 1 A.
December 4 - Regina 4 at Brandon 5 – Jayce Hawryluk scored GWG w/29 secs left.
October 14 - Brandon 1 at Regina 5 – Jens Meilleur had Brandon’s lone goal.

PLAYOFF HISTORY
The Wheat Kings and Pats have met in seven playoff series in WHL history, with the most recent being the first round of the 2003 post-season.  In addition to the series, the two teams have also been involved in three round-robin playoff affairs (1984, 1980 and 1978).
2003 – Brandon def Regina 4-1 in Eastern Conference quarter-final.
1998 – Brandon def Regina 4-1 in Eastern Conference semifinal.
1994 – Brandon def Regina 3-1 in East Division quarter-final.
1984 – Regina def Brandon 2-1 in East Division semifinal
Note: Previous to series, Medicine Hat (4-0) advanced to Division final through a 2nd round round-robin while Regina (2-2) and Brandon (0-4) fell into semifinal series.
1982 – Regina def Brandon 4-0 in East Division quarter-final.
1981 – Regina def Brandon 4-1 in East Division quarter-final.
1980 – Medicine Hat (4-0) & Regina (2-2) eliminate Brandon (0-4) in East Division semifinal.
1978 – Flin Flon (4-4) & Regina (4-4) eliminate Brandon (4-4) in East Division semifinal.
1972 – Regina def Brandon 4-2 in League semifinal.

BY THE NUMBERS
  • F Tim McGauley finished the regular season on an eight-game point streak (3 G, 8 A)...
  • D Ryan Pulock had eight points (2 G, 6 A) during a season-ending three-game point streak…
  • D Ryan Pilon had 12 points (0 G, 12 A) in the last 12 games of the regular season… 
  • D Eric Roy had 11 points (2 G, 9 A) in the last 12 games of the regular season…
  • Rookie F Jesse Gabrielle had ten points (4 G, 6 A) in the last 11 games of the regular season…
  • F Peter Quenneville had seven points (5 G, 2 A) in the last two games of the regular season…
  • F John Quenneville had 11 points (3 G, 8 A) in the last 11 games of the regular season... 
  • F Richard Nejezchleb finished the regular season on a four-game point streak (2 G, 6 A) and had 11 points (3 G, 8 A) in the last eight games of the regular season… 
  • F Richards Bukarts had 11 points (7 G, 4 A) in the last 12 games of the regular season…


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