That’s the number of victories the Wheat Kings have recorded so far this season, and is more than three times as many wins the 19-year old had a chance to enjoy as a member of the Lethbridge Hurricanes last season.
“It’s a huge change from last year. Kelly (Wheat Kings’ GM/Coach McCrimmon) always talks about team success going a long way and I think we have a lot of that on this year’s team,” said Erkamps, “I’m just having a great time these guys. Winning is always fun and I can’t complain about anything this year...it’s been an awesome year so far and we hope to continue it.”
Erkamps has one goal, 21 points and a +18 rating in 48 games with the Wheat Kings this season and has been accepting of a different role with Brandon than was previously the case with the ‘Canes, where was often on the club’s #1 defence pairing last season.
The product of Delta, British Columbia will also celebrate a bit of a milestone Friday night when they Wheat Kings visit the Kootenay Ice (7:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ) as he played his 250th career game in the Western Hockey League.
That’s the second-most career WHL games on the Wheat Kings, trailing only fifth-year Brandon blueliner Eric Roy.
Erkamps and the Wheat Kings will be looking for a similar outing against the Ice as they had in Wednesday’s 6-3 victory in Medicine Hat.
In that contest, Brandon limited the offensive damage from top two scorers in the WHL in Trevor Cox and Cole Sanford, particularly 5-on-5, and will need to do the same against Kootenay’s Sam Reinhart.
Reinhart if averaging just over a point and a half per game since being returned to the Ice from the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres in early November.
“Sam and (Jaedon) Descheneau and all those guys, their top forwards, are elite and game-changers but I think our we can shut them down,” said Erkamps, “Especially with our forwards doing a good job tracking back and Paps in net, I think we’ll be just fine.”
Friday’s game is the first of four meetings between the Ice and Wheat Kings this season, all of which take place this month. After this weekend’s doubleheader, Kootenay travels to Brandon for back-to-back games in the Wheat City on February 27-28.
Chaff...a pair of Wheat Kings in Tim McGauley and Peter Quenneville will take eight-game point scoring streaks into Friday’s contest. McGauley has six goals and 17 points during his streak while Quenneville has four goals and ten points...Jordan Papirny is 4-0-1 with a 2.16 goals against average and .924 save percentage in his last five starts...for the second straight week, Brandon was #4 in this week’s CHL Top-10 rankings.