It’s the first of five straight games against U.S. Division opponents for Brandon, and the club will be looking to end a personal four-game losing streak against the Chiefs.
“It’s tough because you don’t see these teams ever...you play then once a year, and it’s tough to know even what guys are on which team and you don’t know a lot about the personnel,” said Brandon netminder Jordan Papirny on Tuesday, “It’s more worrying about ourselves and what we’re doing and keeping our game real simple, coming out hard and sticking to our game, working pucks deep and putting lots of pucks at the net.”
Papirny, who’s currently fourth in the WHL with a 1.68 goals against average, has been on the Wheat Kings’ annual late-October excursion West twice before and seen both the good and the bad.
The club won six of seven games last year but lost the first four games of their trip in 2013 before salvaging the final two games to finish 2-4-0-0.
Obviously, recording victories is the mark of a successful road trip but Papirny says there’s a lot more to this trip than just wins and losses.
“You really learn a lot about our team, and the guys individually on a personal level, and also a lot of character,” said Papirny, “When you spend 12 days with a group of guys, you really see who your guys are, leadership really starts to come out in guys and I think it’s nothing but positive for our team to be on a trip like this together.”
A pair of Wheat Kings will take four-game goal-scoring streaks into Wednesday’s contest, with Tanner Kaspick scoring five goals in the last four contests and Macoy Erkamps having scored four goals and adding five assists during his streak.
Chaff...this season is the 20th anniversary for the Wheat Kings and Chiefs meeting in the Western Hockey League Final in 1995-1996. Brandon prevailed over the Mike Babcock-coached Chiefs in five games including 2-1 and 3-0 victories in Spokane in the final two games of the series. The Wheat Kings didn’t win again in Spokane until October of 2010.