Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Key Game Wednesday as Wheat Kings Visit Tigers

The Wheat Kings and Tigers face each other for
the third time this season on Wednesday.
  The Brandon Wheat Kings open a four-game road trip Wednesday night with a key game in Medicine Hat (7:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

  Brandon (37-9-3-2) holds a six-point lead over the second-place Tigers (35-12-1-2) in the race for top spot in the Eastern Conference, with Medicine Hat holding a game in hand.
  “Wednesday is a big game for us.  It’s a huge game, and good competition for us to play the second-place team in the Conference,” said Wheat Kings’ alternate captain Quintin Lisoway on Tuesday, “It’s a huge game for us and I know a lot of guys are really getting prepared for it.”
  Both teams have been rolling lately, with Brandon going 8-0-0-1 in their last nine games and sporting a 13-2-0-1 record in 16 games since the Christmas break while Medicine Hat had a six-game winning streak snapped in their last contest, a shootout loss in Spokane on Saturday, and are 11-4-0-1 in 16 games since the Christmas break.
  The Wheat Kings are 2-0-0-0 against the Tigers in their head-to-head matchups this season, winning in Medicine Hat 4-0 on November 1st and beating the Tigers 3-2 in a shootout two weeks later in Brandon.
  “I think both times we played them, we were very sound defensively, and I feel that’s going to be a big part of our game plan,” added Lisoway, “A team that has the top two scorers in the league, we’re going to have to play the best defence we’ve played all year and just be ready for them.”
  The Tigers do boast Trevor Cox and Cole Sanford, who are 1-2 in the WHL scoring race and have combined for 63 goals and 163 points this season.
   Both teams will be missing key players for Wednesday’s contest, with F John Quenneville (suspected concussion) and F Jayce Hawryluk (upper body) both out of Brandon’s lineup while D Tommy Vanelli (upper body) and F Steve Owre (upper body) are both out for the Tigers while 20-year old D Kyle Becker and F Anthony Ast have both missed the last four games with suspected concussions and are listed as day-to-day.
  The good news for Medicine Hat is that former Regina Pats’ captain Kyle Burroughs will return to the Tigers’ lineup Wednesday after serving a four-game suspension and G Marek Langhamer returned to the starting lineup Saturday after sitting for five straight games with a hip injury.

Chaff...rookie F Nolan Patrick was named the Wheat Kings' IMPACT Player of the Month for January on Tuesday.  Patrick had nine goals and 15 points in ten games last month while also posting a +8 rating...the WHL named Portland's Oliver Bjorkstrand their Player of the Month after he amassed 14 goals and 30 points in 12 games in January...the WHL suspended Warriors' F Jesse Shynkaruk Tuesday for the hit he put on Brandon's John Quenneville in Saturday's game in Moose Jaw.  The length of the suspension has not been determined.

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