Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Key Contributions Need to Continue

Rookie F Connor Gutenberg has two goals and three points
in the last four games for Brandon.
  The Brandon Wheat Kings play their final home game before their Christmas break Wednesday night as they entertain the Kamloops Blazers (7:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  The Wheat Kings are hoping that contribution from throughout their lineup continue, with the likes of Connor Gutenberg scoring two goals and three points in the last four games in the absence of Stelio Mattheos (upper body), John Quenneville (Cdn Jr. Team) and Jayce Hawryluk (Cdn Jr. Team) from the forward ranks.

  "Those are all great hockey players that we're missing, and that means every one of us has to pick it up that much more and contribute more offensively," said Gutenberg after Tuesday's practice, "That's what I've been trying to do and it's worked out pretty nice here."

  Gutenberg is just one of several players making contributions lately, as Garrett Armour notched his first goal as a Wheat King in Saturday's victory over Kelowna and Linden McCorrister has three points in the last four games including his first career Western Hockey League goal last Wednesday in Moose Jaw.

  "I've really liked it," said McCorrister Tuesday, "I'm obviously getting a chance to play, so I'm liking that and coming to the rink prepared every day."

  It's likely the Wheat Kings will dress just 11 forwards against the Blazers for the third consecutive game, and while that means more shifts and more minutes for players like McCorrister, Armour and Gutenberg, it doesn't mean that need to alter what they do.

  "You still have to play a hard-working game, and play 200 feet...that doesn't really change," added Gutenberg, "You get more ice-time but you still have to play the same way and be an honest player."

  The Wheat Kings go into Friday night's contest with a two point lead over Prince Albert atop the East Division, and just three points behind Eastern Conference co-leaders Red Deer and Calgary.

Chaff...Brandon goaltender Logan Thompson (upper body) took some shots at the end of Tuesday's practice and is still listed as day-to-day...Nolan Patrick takes a nine-game point-scoring streak into Wednesday's contest, the longest active streak the WHL.  He has two goals and 11 assists for 13 points during the streak...former Wheat King Rihards Bukarts was named the WHL Player of the Week on Monday.  Bukarts had six goals and seven points in three games last week including his first career WHL hat-trick...Spokane F Adam Helewka was suspended for six games Tuesday after being involved in what was, basically, a one-man fight in Saturday's game against Tri-City...the Wheat Kings are encouraging its fans to help out the Westman and Area Traditional Christmas Dinner by bringing a new, unwrapped toy or non-perishable food donation to the Wheat Kings game Wednesday night against the visiting Kamloops Blazers...Saturday's Teddy Bear Toss for the Christmas Cheer Registry saw a team record 2,608 stuffed animals brought in.

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