Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Wheat Kings Look to get Offence on Track

Reid Duke
  The Brandon Wheat Kings look to get their offense in gear Wednesday when they open a five-game home stand by hosting the Red Deer Rebels (4:00 p.m. Westman Communications Group Place).

  The Wheat Kings have scored three or fewer goals in seven consecutive games, losing four of those including their last two contests by identical 4-1 scores.

  "I think we're right there.  It's one of the hardest things to do but you just have to keep going and doing what you're doing," said Brandon centre Reid Duke after Tuesday's practice, "When you're in a slump or your team isn't doing as well as you'd like, you want to change things but, right now, I think we're just so close and if we just keep going they way we are, we'll break through here."

  Brandon's scoring drought can be partly attributed to injuries, with Tim McGauley, John Quenneville and Braylon Shmyr are currently sidelined.

  When healthy, all three of those players would likely play in Brandon's top-six forwards.

  In order to compensate, Duke admits they need to be a better job of creating traffic around their opponent's net.

  "Our team is having a lot of shots but without our traffic, we're not getting very many second opportunities," said Duke, who has one goal in his last nine games, "I think, right now, we're just trying to look for a pretty play or a one shot goal when you get a greasy one, the floodgates will open and you'll start scoring a little more."

  The Wheat Kings (11-4-0-2) have outshot their opponents in 16 of the 17 games they've played this season but will be tough against a Red Deer that's allowing, on average, just under 29 shots against per game.

  Wednesday's contest begins a week for the Wheat Kings that features games against three teams right beside them in the Eastern Conference standings.

  The Rebels and Prince Albert are currently co-leaders in the conference, two points ahead of Brandon and Lethbridge.

  The Wheat Kings will host the Hurricanes Saturday and the Raiders on Sunday.

Chaff...Wheat Kings' F Jayce Hawryluk snapped a 2-2 tie with 3:13 left in the 3rd period to help Team WHL to a 4-2 win over Russia in Game #2 of the CHL Canada/Russia series Tuesday night in Kamloops...John Quenneville practiced in a no-contact jersey Tuesday and is questionable for Wednesday's contest.  The New Jersey draft pick has missed the last two games with an upper body injury...Tim McGauley (upper body), Braylon Shmyr (illness) and Tak Anholt (conditioning) all skated at the end of practice on Tuesday...Stelio Mattheos will return to the Brandon lineup Wednesday after missing six games while playing with Canada-Black at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge...the Wheat Kings will wear special military-themed jersey's Wednesday, with the jerseys being auctioned off during the game and proceeds being donated to the United Way's Community Fund that supports military families...D T.J. Brown, a fourth round pick of Brandon in the 2013 Bantam Draft, has committed to Quinnipiac to start the 2017-2018 season.

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