Tim McGauley is having a breakout season in his third full year with the Wheat Kings and currently ranks in the top-five in the Western Hockey League in goals (37), assists (52), points (89), plus-minus (+40) and game-winning goals (8), and is the only player in the WHL in the top-five in each of those categories!!
McGauley had 105 points in 153 career WHL games going into the 2014-2015 season so his leap forward isn't necessarily a huge shock, especially for those that have been around the Wilcox, Saskatchewan product over the past two seasons.
"I think his skating has improved, and his quickness has improved. Bigger and stronger, the confidence that comes with being an older player is a big part of it for Tim as well," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon earlier this week, "He really matches up a lot better in every situation now. Physically, he handle himself well. He's able to get position on people and, again, quicker for me than he was his first two seasons."
McGauley's breakout has him being mentioned with past Wheat Kings' greats including Mark Stone and Eric Fehr, the only other Wheat Kings' players in the last 15 years to produce 100-point seasons in a Brandon uniform.
"It's a bit shocking and it's pretty crazy, actually," said McGauley, who was named the Wheat Kings Player of the Month for February on Tuesday, "When I was 16, I got called up here when Mark Stone was here. He was a great guy, a great leader and I've always looked up to him so to be mentioned with him is pretty crazy."
"He's quietly gone about putting together a tremendous year and we've talked many times about the consistency that he has to his game," added McCrimmon, "Based on that, he's put himself well up the list of the top scorers in our league along with the responsibilities he has being a really good two-way player because that's really where Tim's game is based."
McGauley has points in 50 of Brandon's 63 games this season including his current 19-game point-scoring streak that's the longest for a Wheat Kings' player since Cory Cyrenne had a 23-game streak during the 1997-98 season.
|Nolan Patrick was in a no-contact|
jersey on Monday.
"With any season, you want to finish strong so I feel, this season has been going well for me so I really want to finish strong...these last three weeks are huge for me and my team," said McGauley, "If our team finishes strong, I'm sure I'll finish strong too so it's team-first for me and hopefully my individual stats reflect that."
Brandon has a few things on the line as they begin this week.
The club has a chance to clinch their first regular season Eastern Conference title since 1996 this week, they enter Wednesday's home game against Lethbridge trailing the Kelowna Rockets by two points for first-place in the overall standings and they're one point shy of reaching the 100-point mark for the season.
The Wheat Kings also need four wins to reach 50 for the season, which would be the fifth time in Brandon 48-year history in the WHL that the club reaches 50 wins (2009-10, 1995-96, 1978-79 and 1976-77)
Chaff...rookie Brandon F Nolan Patrick, who's missed 2 1/2 weeks with an upper body injury, skated in no-contact drills in practice on Monday and Tuesday...Reid Duke (lower body) and Kale Clague (lower body) also remain sidelined, although Clague skated on his own ahead of practice on Tuesday...Wednesday is the deadline for Brandon season ticket holders to renew for next season and buy the Wheat Kings' playoff package. Doing so will give you this year's first two playoff home games for free.
BTW, here's the final stats for the seven Wheat Kings' prospects that played at the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, B.C...
Jeremy Klessens (Team Alberta) - 6 GP 1-1-2 **SILVER MEDAL**
Jarrod Gourley (Team Alberta) - 6 GP 0-0-0 **SILVER MEDAL**
Ian Mitchell (Team Alberta) - 6 GP 1-3-4 **SILVER MEDAL**
Connor Gutenberg (Team Manitoba) - 6 GP 3-1-4 **BRONZE MEDAL**
James McIsaac (Team Manitoba) - 6 GP 1-3-4 **BRONZE MEDAL**
Leif Mattson (Team Manitoba) - 6 GP 2-2-4 **BRONZE MEDAL**
Hunter Arps (Team Saskatchewan) - 130 MP, 2.31 GAA, .922 SPCT **7TH-PLACE**
|Team Alberta won silver at the Canada Winter Games|