Monday, 7 December 2015

Early Season Form Returning for Duke

Reid Duke
  Reid Duke looks to be back to his early season form.

  After notching nine goals and 13 points in the opening eight games of the season, Duke had scored just once in his next ten contests while also missing one game with a lower body injury.

  However, the Wheat Kings' forward has picked up lately, scoring six goals and nine points in the last nine games.

  "About a month ago, a realized with help from my coaches and teammates, that I had another level to go and I still think so," said Duke after Monday's practice, "For them just to be on me to get to another gear, anticipate a little more, play a little harder that it would pay off and it has been."

  Duke, who found out Monday that he won't be suspended for the charging major he was assessed in Saturday's game against Saskatoon, takes a four-game point-scoring streak into Tuesday night's contest against the Calgary Hitmen (7:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  The Minnesota Wild draft pick probably went a little over the line with the hit, but also admits that he feels more into the game when he's playing with a 'chip' on his shoulder."

  "I definitely seem to find that I'll have a better game when I get a hit early on or I feel that I'm in the game early, the rest of the game will just flow for me," said Duke, "I'm motivated to get a hit or maybe even get under their skin a little bit...it works for me."

  Brandon enters Tuesday's game in fifth-place in the tight Eastern Conference, just one point behind the Hitmen and two points behind the first-place Prince Albert Raiders.

  The tilt against Calgary starts a busy and challenging week for the Wheat Kings.

  The club visits Moose Jaw Wednesday before hosting Lethbridge Friday and Kelowna Saturday.

  The Warriors are currently sixth in the Conference but just four points out of first, the Hurricanes are tied with Calgary and Red Deer for first-place in the Central Division and the Rockets are leading the Western Conference and overall WHL standings.

Chaff...Canadian Junior team hopeful Jayce Hawryluk was absent from Brandon's practice Monday after suffering an upper body injury in Friday's loss to Regina...Wheat Kings' 2015 import pick Oliver Kylington, who is currently with the AHL's Stockton Heat, was surprising left off the Swedish team's preliminary roster for the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championship...Tuesday's game is another 2 for Tuesday game for the Wheat Kings featuring 2-for-1 tickets, and $2 popcorn, hot dogs and pop...Saskatoon dealt F Josh Uhrich, 19, to Seattle Monday for a fifth round pick in the 2016 Bantam Draft...Vancouver Giants' F Tyler Benson was named the WHL Player of the Week Monday.  He had eight points (2 G, 6 A) in four games last week.

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