Saturday, 13 December 2014

Campbell Key Part of WK's Forward Depth

Duncan Campbell
  The Brandon Wheat Kings host the Red Deer Rebels in their first Sunday home game of the season (4:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  The Wheat Kings sit atop the WHL's Eastern Conference (23-7-2-1), with the club's forward depth part of the reason for Brandon's first half success.

  Duncan Campbell has scored seven goals while mainly seeing fourth-line duty with the Wheat Kings, part of a Brandon forward contingent that is on pace to have 12 players finish the season in double digits in goals.

  "Didn't have many high expectation because then, if I don't meet them, I'm disappointed in myself," said Campbell after Brandon's practice Saturday, "Obviously, I wanted to produce especially being an 18-year old rookie, and I think I've done a pretty good job so far and I just want to keep getting better, keep producing, get some more goals and get some more wins."

  Campbell's contributions mirror those of less-heralded forwards like Braylon Shmyr, Quintin Lisoway, Tyler Coulter and Tanner Kaspick, but their ability to match up against virtually any line that opposition throws out is a big reason why Brandon's top lines can produce as effectively as they have.

  "I like to be a guy coach can count on.  I like to be responsible and do the right things, especially in a tight situation like a close-scoring game," said Campbell, "I think it shows a lot of trust, and I'm very proud to be able to go out against those top guys and just work my butt off."

  Campbell's first career WHL goal came in Brandon's second game of the season on September 20 in Regina, but the Brandon's product says that career highlight was outdone on Friday night.

  The 6-foot-3, 196 pound Campbell scored 1:59 into Friday's win over Swift Current to put the Wheat Kings' 'Teddy Bear' goal title on his mantel.

  "I think it actually takes the cake right now.  Hometown, big crowd, and it was a little nicer than my first WHL goal," said Campbell, "It was a great experience, full barn and seeing a lot of those Teddy Bears come down for a good was awesome."

  Campbell joins Rene Hunter (2013), John Quenneville (2012), Ryan Pulock (2011) and Shayne Wiebe (2010) as players to score the 'Teddy Bear' goal in the last five years.

  Meanwhile, the Wheat Kings will be without forward Jayce Hawryluk for the second straight game on Sunday, and the 18-year old Florida Panthers' draft pick is expected to be sidelined until after the Christmas break with a lower body injury.

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