Thursday, 3 March 2016

Mattheos Progressing Despite Numbers

  It's been a season of learning experiences for Wheat Kings' rookie Stelio Mattheos.

  The first overall pick in the 2014 Bantam Draft has six goals and 18 points in 42 games this season, missing 16 games this year due to injury and another six while playing at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

  Despite missing those 22 games, Mattheos is still fifth in scoring among this fellow 2014 draft picks, and third if you consider points-per-game (0.43).

  Mattheos has played in Brandon's last 14 games, his longest streak of consecutive games this season.

  The Winnipeg product feels it's helped a lot of be in the lineup consistently.

  "I think ever since I've gotten back, every game getting back in the lineup I feel a little more confident and get a little bit more experience under your belt," said Mattheos on Thursday, "It's really important, especially come playoff time."

  Mattheos could be looking at a real opportunity to shine over the next couple of weeks.

  Ty Lewis suffered an upper body injury in Lethbridge last Friday, opening up a spot on the line with four-year veterans John Quenneville and Tim McGauley.

  It's a spot Mattheos has filled over the last couple of games.

  "It's been a nice adjustment for sure.  It's really good to play with those guys, both veteran players, and they both really help me with my game," said Mattheos, "Keep working hard, give them the puck but also keep making the right play."

  The Wheat Kings are back on home-ice Friday night, hosting the Moose Jaw Warriors (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  It's the start of a three-game in three night weekend for Brandon, who enter Friday's action tied with Lethbridge for first-place in the Eastern Conference standings.

  The Hurricanes visit Saskatoon Friday in one of the ten other games on the WHL schedule.

Chaff...according to my research, the last Wheat Kings' player to score five goals in a game was Greg Hutchings, who scored six times in a 14-4 home-ice win over Portland on December 7, 1990.  Jayce Hawryluk scored five in Brandon's win over Saskatoon on Wednesday...F Jaeger White is expected to miss an extended period of time after suffering an upper body injury in Wednesday's game...rookie F Connor Gutenberg (lower body) skated on his own again on Thursday as he continues to come back from a lower body injury that has sidelined him since late December...Brandon F Tyler Coulter takes a 12-game point-streak into Friday's contest...three WHL players have signed officially signed entry-level contracts with NHL teams in the last few days in Moose Jaw's Dryden Hunt (Florida), Swift Current's Jon Martin (San Jose) and Red Deer's Adam Helewka (San Jose).

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