Monday, 21 March 2016

Wheat Kings Prep for Unnamed Opponent

  The Brandon Wheat Kings began their playoff preparations on Monday, despite not knowing who their first round playoff opponent will be.

  Edmonton and Medicine Hat will meet Tuesday night in a 'Game 73' to decide the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and who will be Brandon's opponent.

  "Our preparation is 95 per cent about us and there'll be more than enough time to dial in on our opponent when we find out Tuesday night," said Wheat Kings' GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on Monday, "I think that any of the disadvantages of not knowing would be more than made up by the fact that our opponent is going to playing Tuesday night."

  Regardless of who they face, the Wheat Kings open with back-to-back home games on Thursday and Friday at Westman Communications Group Place.

  Brandon captured the Eastern Conference pennant with a 48-18-4-2 record during the regular season, but McCrimmon feels the players have already turned the page as they prepare for the start of the post-season this week.

  "It's the next chapter.  The final weekend, being at home both days, the awards on Saturday night, day off Sunday gives everyone more than enough time to reflect on the 72-game body of work that was the regular season," said McCrimmon, "This is where our guys, since last year's playoffs ended, have been looking forward to this day getting start on the playoff trail again.  Excited, working hard and getting ready for Thursday."

  The Wheat Kings did get a bit of good news Monday as rookie Ty Lewis practiced without restrictions and looks to be available for the start of the playoffs.

  Lewis missed the last ten games of the regular season with an upper body injury.

  Tyler Coulter did not practice Monday as he continues to recover from a lower body injury.

Chaff...a Brandon/Medicine Hat matchup would mean an Quenneville battle between Wheat Kings' F John and Tigers' D David...a Wheat Kings/Oil Kings matchup would be the third straight year the two teams have met in the playoffs...after playing forward for the last eight weeks of the regular season, Jordan Thomson practiced on defence for Brandon Monday...Brandon's Jordan Papirny was named the WHL's Goaltender of the Week Monday after going 3-0-0 with a 1.33 goals against average and .944 save percentage in three games last week.  Papirny not only tied the franchise record for career shutouts with his 12th on Saturday, but he also tied the club's single season record of six.

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