Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Brandon Boys Want to Bring Cup Home

Tyler Coulter
  Tyler Coulter has vivid memories of the last time the Brandon Wheat Kings played in the Western Hockey League final.

  Not only was the then eight year old Coulter enjoying being part of the enthusiastic crowds at Westman Communications Group Place, he also had a chance to see the enjoyment and excitement that playoff run brought to one of the Wheat Kings' players first hand.

  Ryan Stone, who was one of the stars of the Wheat Kings' team in 2004-2005, was billeting at the Coulter home.

  "He came home every game and was just so excited, win or lose, that they were playing," said Coulter on Tuesday, "It's pretty cool to come full circle ten years later.  I never thought it would be Brandon-Kelowna playing back then and it's pretty cool now with me playing instead of Ryan.  It's pretty spectacular."

  Coulter is one of three full-time Wheat Kings' players that are hometown products on this year's club (a fourth, Ty Lewis, spent the first half of the season on Brandon's injury list, playing the second half of the season with the AAA Midget Wheat Kings and re-joined the Wheat Kings as an affiliate player two weeks).

  Tanner Kaspick grew up a Wheat Kings' fan in Brandon and was seven years old the last time the WHL Final was played in the Wheat City.

  Having the chance to be part of what's been a special playoff run to date isn't lost on Kaspick.

  "The support that the team had back then has come out again this year, and it's just really special for us players to have the city behind us," said Kaspick, who's expected to return to Brandon's lineup for Game #1 on Friday, "Growing up as part of the community and now seeing it come together like this makes it that much more special and makes us want it that much more.  I know I'll be doing whatever I can to win that championship and so will the rest of the team."

  Rookie centre Duncan Campbell doesn't have a lot of memories of the 2005 post-season but you'll have to excuse him, he didn't start playing organized hockey until a couple of years later.

  Now, the Brandonite is in the thick of the WHL post-season.

  "Because you're playing for your hometown, you want to do everything you can to, for lack of better words, be the hero and bring home the championship to your hometown," said Campbell, "I think there's a lot of drive and determination there that we want to get it done, especially for the guys that live here and play here."

  All three Brandon players have made big contributions to the Wheat Kings' success in the 2015 post-season, and the threesome is looking to do the same in the WHL Final.

Chaff...the WHL Awards will be handed out Wednesday.  Five Wheat Kings are up for awards in Tim McGauley (Player of the Year), Nolan Patrick (Rookie of the Year), Ivan Provorov (Defenceman of the Year), Peter Quenneville (Most Sportsmanlike Player) and Kelly McCrimmon (Executive of thje Year)...Brandon goaltender Jordan Papirny was named the WHL Goaltender of the Month for April on Tuesday.  Papirny was 8-2 last month with a 2.15 GAA and .928 SPCT...the WHL has revealed that it has returned Portland’s 2017 first-round bantam draft pick to the Winterhawks...Lethbridge has signed Peter Anholt to a three-year contract as the club's general manager...WHL Commissioner Ron Robison recommended to Hurricanes' shareholders Monday to consider private ownership.

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