Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Thomson Joins Wheat Kings in Deal with Broncos

  The Brandon Wheat Kings completed their second deal of the day on Thursday evening, acquiring defenceman Jordan Thomson from the Swift Current Broncos.

  The Wheat Kings pick up the Wawanesa product in a 1-for-1 deal, with 18-year old blueliner Mark Taraschuk headed to Swift Current.

  "The move to Brandon is going to be a good one for him.  He's familiar with a lot of the guys on our team, he's a Manitoba guy and I think this is going to be exciting for him," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon, "I think he's going to be able to contribute in a number of different ways and make our blueline better."

  The 5-foot-11, 192 pound Thomson is in his fourth WHL season and has two goals and six points in 24 games with the Broncos this year while notching 12 goals and 54 points in 159 games during a WHL career that has also included stops in Kamloops and Saskatoon.

  "He's got a real good shot, he's a good puck handler, he can pass the puck.  He brings experience, this being his fourth year in the league," added McCrimmon, "We're trying to position our team to win and I think they more experience you can have, the better."

  Thomson is also a right-shot, which will be an asset to a Wheat Kings team that had just captain Macoy Erkamps as a right-shooting defenceman until this point.

  Thomson is expected to join the Wheat Kings on Thursday and will make his Brandon debut on Friday night when the Wheat Kings open a two-game Alberta road trip in Lethbridge (7:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

Harrison Dealt to Cougars

Luke Harrison
  Luke Harrison's tenure with the Brandon Wheat Kings lasted 19 days.

  The club dealt the 20-year old forward to the Prince George Cougars Wednesday for a ninth round pick in the 2016 Bantam Draft, allowing the Wheat Kings to get back down to the WHL maximum of three 20-year old players in Tim McGauley, Colton Waltz and Macoy Erkamps.

  "Luke was as advertised," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on Wednesday, "We described him as a real honest, hard-working two-way player and I think that's exactly what he was in the six games that he played here."

  Harrison had two goals in six games with Brandon, and has four goals in 17 games with the Wheat Kings, Kamloops and Spokane this year.

  The Cougars become the fourth WHL team he'll play for this season.

  "Luke knew when we got him that this could happen.  As we talked about at the time (we acquired Harrison), who knows what changes around the league by then," added McCrimmon, "During that time, Prince George had an opening and he's going to get a chance to go there and contribute.  He helped us during his time here and gets a new opportunito for him to play in the league."

  Harrison's departure not only leaves Brandon with the WHL maximum of three 20-year old players, but it also leaves the Wheat Kings with 23 players on their roster -- 14 forwards, seven defencemen and two goaltenders.

  Brandon returns to action Friday when they open a two-game Alberta road trip in Lethbridge (7:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

Chaff...Brandon Wheat Kings' F Nolan Patrick visited Branstone Financial Strategies Wednesday afternoon to deliver his Team WHL jersey.  The jersey was put up for auction Friday in support of the Braden Pettinger Fund, with Branstone Financial submitting the winning bid of $5,500.  Below is a picture of Nolan Patrick with Kevin Martin of Branstone Financial.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Wheat Kings Dump Pats

Tim McGauley returned to the lineup Friday after
missing 21 games with an injury.
  The Brandon Wheat Kings closed out a five-game home stand Friday night by beating the visiting Regina Pats 2-1.

  Jayce Hawryluk and Stelio Mattheos had the goals for the Wheat Kings, with Mattheos' marker 5:24 into the second period proving to be the first game-winning goal of his Western Hockey League career.

  "It was a big faceoff win by Tanner Kaspick," said Mattheos on CKLQ's post-game show, "I saw the puck come back and I just pushed it to the middle, took a shot and, luckily, it went in."

  The game was a lot tighter on the scoreboard than it was in reality, thanks to the play of Regina goaltender Tyler Brown.

  The Winnipeg product was peppered by a 53 shots by the Wheat Kings.

  "I thought we could have won by a few goals.  We really we forced to do things well in the third period because it was a one-goal game and had to have some real good defensive efforts to get the win here tonight," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmonm, "I thought our team was pretty solid tonight from start to finish."

  One of those third period defensive efforts was a four-minute penalty-kill in the second half of the third period, during which the club did not allow a shot on goal.

  The win moved the Wheat Kings to within one point of idle Prince Albert for top spot in the East Division.

  Brandon is idle until Friday when they open a two-game Alberta road trip in Lethbridge.

Chaff...Tim McGauley returned to Brandon's lineup after a 21-game absence due to an upper body injury and had a solid game despite being held pointless...McGauley's return forced the Wheat Kings to scratch F Luke Harrison as the extra 20-year old while D Mark Taraschuk (healthy), F Linden McCorrister (healthy) and F Braylon Shmyr (upper body) were also out for Brandon...the Wheat Kings' were 3-for-3 on the penalty-kill Friday and are now 19-for-21 (90.5%) in their last seven games...with 61 goals against in 23 games, the Wheat Kings are on pace to allow 191 goals this season, which would be the third time in team history they'd allow fewer than 200...approximately $3,400 was raised at Friday's game for the Braden Pettinger fund through a chuck-a-puck promotion and donation while the auction for Nolan Patrick's Team WHL jersey, bought by Kevin Martin of Branstone Financial Strategies, raised an additional $5,500.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

McGauley Returns; Lewis Relishes #1

Ty Lewis
  Tim McGauley will jump back into the Brandon Wheat Kings' lineup Friday night when the club closes out a five-game home stand by hosting the Regina Pats (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  McGauley has been out of the lineup for the last eight weeks with an upper body injury, but the 20-year old has been shooting, passing and skating for the past couple of weeks and practiced fully with the club this week.

  "There's going to be some rust.  Games are always different than practices...they're a lot more intense, guys hit harder, it's a game so everyone is going 100 per cent," said McGauley after Thursday's practice, "For the most part, I'm just worried about playing a right game, playing a strong game, a two-way game just like I always have been and just try and contribute to the team."

  McGauley, who suffered the injury in the third period of the club's season opener back on September 25th, skated on a line with wingers Reid Duke and Ty Lewis at practice on Thursday.

  His return does put the Wheat Kings back into a roster predicament as the club will have a week to get back down to the WHL limit of three 20-year old players.

  Colton Waltz, Macoy Erkamps and Luke Harrison are the other 20-year olds on Brandon's roster.

  Meanwhile, rookie Ty Lewis was still basking in the glow of scoring his first career Western Hockey League after practice on Thursday.

  The Brandon product got the goal in Wednesday's victory over Medicine Hat.

  "It's good to get the first one and get a feel for what it's like to score here in the WHL," said Lewis, "It's a very skilled league, lots of skilled players so scoring here is a lot tougher than it was back in midget.  It's nice to get the first one."

  Lewis' goal reduces the number of Brandon players still looking for their first career WHL goal down to three in second-year defenceman Mark Taraschuk and rookies Linden McCorrister and James Shearer.

Chaff...There's no suspension for Brandon captain Macoy Erkamps for the boarding major he was assessed during Wednesday's win over Medicine Hat...Braylon Shmyr (upper body) was the only player absent from practice on Thursday...the Pats will welcome defenceman Connor Hobbs back to their lineup Friday after he missed five games with an upper body injury...the Wheat Kings will be holding a special chuck-a-puck fundraising promotion tonight, with proceeds going to the fund set up for injured MJHL player Braden Pettinger. Brandon players Tyler Coulter, Duncan Campbell, Tanner Kaspick and James Shearer all played with Pettinger during his two seasons with the Brandon AAA Midget Wheat Kings.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Wheat Kings Bust Out in win over Tigers

Ty Lewis scored his first career WHL goal Wednesday
  Logan Thompson stopped 42 shots as the Brandon Wheat Kings picked up a 6-2 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers on Wednesday night.

  Reid Duke and Ivan Provorov had a goal and two assists each for the Wheat Kings, who erupted for their biggest offensive output in more than a month.

  Ty Lewis scored his first career WHL goal, Duncan Campbell got his first since October 10th and Tanner Kaspick broke a 12-game goalless drought.

  "Ty Lewis scored, but he's playing well.  He's been playing well now for 3-4 games, we've talked about him after the games here a couple of times and he's fit in nicely with Duke and Hawryluk," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ's post-game show, "It's always important for those guys to get that off their back so for Ty, that will only give him more confidence.  We had a power-play goal tonight so that was positive, there were some guys that scored tonight that haven't scored in a while so even that part of it is positive here as we move along."

  Nolan Patrick added the other Brandon goal while Macoy Erkamps added a pair of assists.

  Erkamps was also assessed a five-minute major for boarding with just under seven ninutes left in the third period, a penalty that will be automatically reviewed by the WHL office for a possible suspension.

  However, based on replays of the hit, a suspension is highly unlikely.

  Wednesday's victory moved Brandon back to within three points of first-place Prince Albert in the Eastern Conference standings.

  The Wheat Kings conclude their five-game home stand by hosting Regina on Friday night (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff...Brandon led 3-2 after 40 minutes, the Wheat Kings' first lead after two periods since October 23 at Tri-City (10 games)...Brandon scratched F Tim McGauley (upper body), F Braylon Shmyr (upper body), D Mark Taraschuk (healthy) and F Linden McCorrister (healthy)...Wheat Kings' F John Quenneville is now 3-0 in head-to-head WHL matchups against younger brother David, a defenceman with Medicine Hat.