Monday, 6 April 2015

Duke Excited for Playoff Debut

Reid Duke
  It's been over three years in the making, but Reid Duke is almost ready to make his Western Hockey League playoff debut.

  After missing the playoffs as a member of the Letbbridge Hurricanes in his first two seasons in the WHL, Duke was forced to sit and watch Brandon's first round series victory over Edmonton.

  "This will be my first playoff experience so it's exciting," said Duke earlier this week, "It's big and a little nerve-racking considering I haven't played and with it being second round already but I'm looking forward to it and it'll be a lot of fun."

  Duke was one of seven players to reach the 20-goal mark during the regular season, scoring 20 goals and 51 points in 53 games with the Wheat Kings.

  He also missed the final 16 games of the regular season and the first round series against Edmonton because of an injury.

  The Minnesota Wild draft pick is in a similar situation to Brandon defenceman Macoy Erkamps, who was acquired along with Duke in a trade with Lethbridge in late September.

  Erkamps made his WHL playoff debut in the first round after playing 269 career regular season games.

  "He had a great first round.  He was playing, and I could see his excitement on the ice and I'm hoping I can keep that up with him as well," said Duke, "I know it's going to be a great experience for both of us, being our first post-season."

  The duo are two of nine (potentially) Wheat Kings' players to be experiencing the WHL playoffs for the first time.

  Brandon will host the Regina Pats on Friday and Saturday at Westman Communications Group Place to open the Best-of-Seven Eastern Conference semifinal series.

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