Monday, 4 May 2015

Wheat Kings' Notebook

Peter Quenneville
  The Brandon Wheat Kings began their preparations for the Western Hockey League Final on Monday with a hour-long practice at Westman Communications Group Place.

  The club will begin their battle for the Ed Chynoweth Cup with the Kelowna Rockets on Friday.

  The Wheat Kings have had a week to prepare for their next playoff opponent through the 2015 post-season and Brandon captain Peter Quenneville sees their preparations this week as being very similar despite the higher stakes.

  "I think we're probably going to prepare like we have so far in the playoffs," said Quenneville, who won a USHL title in 2013, "Because we've only played them one time, it's a team we haven't seen that often.  We're just  going to be looking to bring as much effort as we can and just have to compete very night."

  Quenneville added that doesn't think the hype of playing in the Western Hockey League Final will be a distraction for the club this week.

  "We're definitely excited but I think we've been preparing for this moment all year," said Quenneville Monday, "We've believed all along that we could get here if we just stuck to the process and played good hockey.  We're just looking forward to rising to the challenge...we're playing a good team so it'll be a lot of fun."

  Reid Duke, Tanner Kaspick and Kale Clague were all full participants in the Wheat Kings' practice on Monday.

  Duke missed the entire Eastern Conference Final with an injury while Kaspick and Clague were both injured in Game #1 against the Hitmen and missed the final four games of the series.

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  It's not the most glamorous position in the world, but the backup goaltender during a lengthy playoff run is still a pretty important one.

  Alex Moodie hasn't seen any game action for the Brandon Wheat Kings in over six weeks despite dressing for every one of the Wheat Kings' 15 playoff games so far this spring.

  The Winnipeg product says his responsibilities are pretty simple and straightforward.

  "Just keep everyone's spirits high...if a guy is down, just pick him up," said Moodie, "There's nothing really much to it, just support Paps as much as I can because he's playing unreal right now and I'd love to see more of that and keeping everyone's spirits high."

  Moodie says he tries to prepare each gameday for the possibility of having to play so that, if he were called upon, he'd be as ready as possible to go.

  "You don't like to think about it too much, if you get put in, you get put in and you just have to go and do your job...there's nothing else to it," said Moodie, "You have to go in and hold the fort, there's really nothing more to look into that than just support the guys and if you have to go in, you have to go in."

  Acquired from Saskatoon in late November for an eighth round pick in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft, Moodie saw action in just nine games with the Wheat Kings.

  He went 6-1-2 with a 3.16 GAA and .888 SPCT while also missing most of February with a concussion.

Chaff...Brandon G Jordan Papirny was nominated for the CHL Goaltender of the Week award by the WHL on Monday.  Papirny had a 2.29 GAA and .927 SPCT in three games last week...Kelowna F Tyson Baillie, who had seven points (2 G, 5 A) in three games, was the WHL Player of the Week...the Erie Otters and Oshawa Generals will meet in the Ontario Hockey League Final while the Memorial Cup host Quebec Remparts and Rimouski are playing in the QMJHL Final.

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