McGauley has been out of the lineup for the last eight weeks with an upper body injury, but the 20-year old has been shooting, passing and skating for the past couple of weeks and practiced fully with the club this week.
"There's going to be some rust. Games are always different than practices...they're a lot more intense, guys hit harder, it's a game so everyone is going 100 per cent," said McGauley after Thursday's practice, "For the most part, I'm just worried about playing a right game, playing a strong game, a two-way game just like I always have been and just try and contribute to the team."
McGauley, who suffered the injury in the third period of the club's season opener back on September 25th, skated on a line with wingers Reid Duke and Ty Lewis at practice on Thursday.
His return does put the Wheat Kings back into a roster predicament as the club will have a week to get back down to the WHL limit of three 20-year old players.
Colton Waltz, Macoy Erkamps and Luke Harrison are the other 20-year olds on Brandon's roster.
Meanwhile, rookie Ty Lewis was still basking in the glow of scoring his first career Western Hockey League after practice on Thursday.
The Brandon product got the goal in Wednesday's victory over Medicine Hat.
"It's good to get the first one and get a feel for what it's like to score here in the WHL," said Lewis, "It's a very skilled league, lots of skilled players so scoring here is a lot tougher than it was back in midget. It's nice to get the first one."
Lewis' goal reduces the number of Brandon players still looking for their first career WHL goal down to three in second-year defenceman Mark Taraschuk and rookies Linden McCorrister and James Shearer.
Chaff...There's no suspension for Brandon captain Macoy Erkamps for the boarding major he was assessed during Wednesday's win over Medicine Hat...Braylon Shmyr (upper body) was the only player absent from practice on Thursday...the Pats will welcome defenceman Connor Hobbs back to their lineup Friday after he missed five games with an upper body injury...the Wheat Kings will be holding a special chuck-a-puck fundraising promotion tonight, with proceeds going to the fund set up for injured MJHL player Braden Pettinger. Brandon players Tyler Coulter, Duncan Campbell, Tanner Kaspick and James Shearer all played with Pettinger during his two seasons with the Brandon AAA Midget Wheat Kings.