Rookie Jesse Gabrielle is hoping to build on a solid first round playoff series.
The 16-year old Moosomin, Saskatchewan product had three goals and six points in Brandon’s four-game sweep of the Regina Pats, giving Gabrielle seven goals and 16 points in the last 15 games.
Gabrielle gives a lot of credit to linemates John Quenneville and Jayce Hawryluk for his success.
“Jayce and Johnny are a great help for me. Playing with them, it’s really good for me to learn how to play next year,” said Gabrielle after Tuesday’s practice, “Hopefully, I can bring some of the things they’re teaching me in practice into the games for this upcoming series and for next year.”
The trio combined for 11 goals and 25 points in the four-game sweep of Regina in the opening round while Gabrielle’s contributions can also be measured beyond his scoring stats.
The 5-foot-11, 201 pound Gabrielle can be an irritating player to play against, and seems to have the ability to throw his opponents off their game.
“I love taking the body, I like taking their top guys off their game. If I can get their top six thinking about me instead of the game, that’s going to be a big thing for me,” said Gabrielle, a fifth round pick in the 2012 Bantam Draft, “That’s what I do out there, I do that a lot, I did that a lot against Regina, trying to get their top guys off their game, and I think it worked.”
The Wheat Kings open their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Edmonton Oil Kings with back-to-back games at Rexall Place this week.
The contests go Thursday night (8 p.m., 880 CKLQ) and Saturday afternoon (1:00 p.m., 880 CKLQ).