Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Papirny Riding High in WHL Playoffs

Jordan Papirny
  There's an old cliché that good goaltending wins in the playoffs, and the Brandon Wheat Kings have been getting it in spades so far this spring.

  Jordan Papirny has a 2.17 goals against average and .932 save percentage in 15 playoff starts this spring, helping to lead the Wheat Kings into the Western Hockey League Final.

  Papirny began the post-season by stopping 180 of 191 shots in Brandon's first round victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings, a series that gave the Edmonton product plenty of confidence moving forward.

  "It was important for me to have a really good start for playoffs and set the bar for the rest of the way," said Papirny on Wednesday, "I think I had a really good series in round one and I think that just paved the way for the rest of the playoffs."

  Papirny was named a second-team Eastern Conference All-Star after leading the WHL with 44 wins in the regular season while also finishing third in minutes played (3,566), sixth in goals against average (2.74) and sixth in save percentage (.910).

  Another amazing statistic that gives even more creditability to Papirny's season is that he has started AND finished all 74 games he's played in this season (regular season and playoffs combined).

  His numbers and his play have been even better in the post-season, with Papirny likely outplaying his counterpart at the other end in each of Brandon's playoff series.

  He says that's one of his goals going in.

  "You want to outplay that guy at the other end.  At this point in the playoffs, it might be the different between winning and losing," said Papirny, "For myself, I don't really read too much into who's at the other end.  I just kind of worry about myself and I know if we keep them to two or less per game, I think we have a pretty good chance."

  Papirny's goaltending counterpart in the WHL Final against Kelowna will be Jackson Whistle, the son of Brandon Bobcats' Hall of Famer Dave Whistle.

  The Rockets, by the way, arrived in Brandon on Wednesday and will practice Thursday at Westman Communications Group Place.

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