March 24, 2014, Brandon, MB. (ISN) – Fresh off a great start to their Western Hockey League Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series in Regina, the Wheat Kings return to the friendly confines of Westman Communications Group Place this week as the best of seven series shifts to Brandon for games three and four.
The Wheat Kings grabbed a 2-0 series lead this past weekend with back to back wins over the Pats, who captured the Eastern Division pennant this year after going 20-10-2-1 during the second half of the 2013-14 regular season.
SATURDAY, MARCH 22nd @ REGINA
Wheat Kings 6 Regina Pats 3
The Wheat Kings scored four first period goals – on their first ten shots – en route to the victory. 16-year old rookie Jesse Gabrielle scored twice and set up another as Brandon led 4-0 and 5-3 at the period breaks. Eleven members of the Wheat Kings made their WHL playoff debuts in the series opener.
SUNDAY, MARCH 23rd @ REGINA
Wheat Kings 8 Regina Pats 4
While it was the first period that keyed the win on Saturday, it was a dominant second period that was key in game two. The Wheat Kings scored five goals in the middle frame en route to the convincing in. Former Regina AAA Pat Canadian scored twice and set up another to lead the Wheat Kings, who ran their win streak (including the regular season) to five games. Brandon was forced to play without blueliner Eric Roy and Peter Quenneville but Kord Pankewicz and Tyler Coulter filled in admirably in what was their first ever taste of playoff hockey. Among the thirteen players to make their post-season debuts this past weekend was 15-year old prospect Nolan Patrick. The club’s first selection (4th overall) in last April’s bantam draft, the Winnipeg product scored his first ever playoff goal.
THIS WEEK’S PLAYOFF SCHEDULE:
- Game #3 – Wednesday, March 26th @ Westman Place – 7pm
- Game #4 – Friday, March 28th @ Westman Place – 7:30pm
- Game #5 – Saturday, March 29th @ Brandt Centre in Regina (If Necessary)
- Game #6 – Monday, March 31st @ Credit Union Place in Dauphin (if Necessary)
- Game #7 – Wednesday, April 2nd @ Brandt Centre in Regina (if Necessary)
THIS WEEK’S PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
- Monday, March 24th @ 1:45pm
- Tuesday, March 25th @ 1:45pm
- Thursday, March 27th @ 1:45pm
DAUPHIN COULD SERVE AS WHEAT KINGS “HOME AWAY FROM HOME:
The Wheat Kings, in conjunction with the Western Hockey League have announced that should a sixth game be necessary in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series with Regina, it will be played at Credit Union Place in Dauphin.
“This will be an exciting venue for our players should game 6 be necessary,” says Brandon general manager and head coach Kelly McCrimmon. “It is close enough for our fans to attend, and we feel it will be well received in Dauphin and area.”
Three Wheat Kings played their AAA Midget hockey in Dauphin as members of the Parkland Rangers – Captain Ryan Pulock (Grandview), Jayce Hawryluk (Roblin) and Rene Hunter (Ebb & Flow). The Wheat Kings have been forced to relocate due to the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, which begins next Monday at the Keystone Centre.
PLAYOFF TICKETS ON SALE; PACKAGES AVAILABLE FOR PICK-UP:
Season Ticket holders that have renewed their 2014 playoff packages are reminded that they can now pick up at the Wheat Kings office during regular business hours. Also, tickets to games three and four are now on sale at the Keystone Centre box office, by calling (204) 726-3555 or online at wheatkings.com
PULOCK EARNS LEAGUE ALL STAR HONOURS:
Highlighting the Eastern Conference team announced last week was Brandon captain Ryan Pulock. A 19-year old Grandview product, Pulock was taken 15th overall by the New York Islanders in last JUne’s draft. Pulock is coming off a career year that saw him finish second in team scoring with 23 goals and 63 points in 66 games. During his 4-year WHL career, he has scored 210 points, including a franchise record 64 goals in 261 games. As well, he was recently named the Wheat Kings Turk Broda Trophy winner for Top Manitoba Born Player, the Brad McCrimmon Defenceman of the Year Award as well as the Meighen Haddad & Co. Most Valuable Player honours.
WHEAT KINGS UNVEIL PLAYOFF SPONSORS:
In addition to having Kal Tire (Western Canada) present the 2014 WHL playoffs, the Wheat Kings are pleased to announce that three local partners have come on board for this Quarterfinal series with the Pats. Presenting this week’s games locally are Canadian Tire, Eastside Ventillation and Derksen Mechanical Services. As part of their sponsorship agreement, the local partners will be presenting a block of youth tickets to Hockey Brandon, KidSport and the Y Kids Program.
BRANDON PLAYOFF BITS:
Thirteen Wheat Kings made their WHL playoff debuts this past weekend, including 15-year old prospect Nolan Patrick. The club’s first round selection (4th overall) in last spring’s bantam draft, scored one of the Wheat Kings five second period goals in game two Sunday night…16-year old Moosomin product Jesse Gabrielle meanwhile scored two goals in game one in what was his first ever post-season game as a Wheat King…Wheat Kings have won the past three playoff series played between the Wheat Kings and Pats…Brandon’s all time playoff leaders heading into game three this week is Pulock (17 games played, 7 goals and 15 points)…Rookie netminder Jordan Papirny, who played both games in Regina, compiled a 2.94 goals against average and a stellar .912 save percentage since the team’s Christmas break…Tim McGauley entered post-season play riding a team high eight game point scoring streak…Including the regular season, the Wheat Kings have now won five straight games – four of which have come against Regina.