Brandon Wheat Kings
Brandon, MB. — Miller Equipment presents Wheat Kings Team Poster Night Friday night when Brandon kicks off a 2-game weekend home stand against the visiting Calgary Hitmen at Westman Place.
All fans attending Friday’s game will receive a full color 2011-12 Wheat Kings’ Team Poster, courtesy of Miller Equipment.
The Wheat Kings enter the weekend series, which will conclude Saturday night with a game against Emerson Etem and the Medicine Hat Tigers, with a record of 10-5-0-1 and riding a modest 2-game win streak. Brandon’s 21 points have them tied with Saskatoon for second place in the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Division, one point behind the front running Regina Pats with a game in hand.
The Hitmen meanwhile are coming off Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to the Blades in Saskatoon and begin play Friday night with a record of 6-7-0-1 and fifth place in the WHL’s Central Division.
While the Hitmen are led offensively by the likes of veteran Cody Sylvester (4-9-13) and rookie Victor Rask (7-5-12), its been the goaltending of 17-year old Winnipegger Chris Driedger that has moved Calgary to within a game of the .500 mark.
A former member of the Tri-City Americans, Driedger has appeared in ten of Calgary’s 14 games this season, compiling an impressive 2.24 goals against average and a .919 save percentage.
The Wheat Kings, who will be without 20-year old left-winger Darian Dziurzynski on Friday night, enter the weekend with two of the top six scorers in the WHL. Captain Mark Stone is currently tied with Victoria’s Kevin Sundher for second in league scoring with twelve goals and 32 points in sixteen games. The 19-year old Winnipeg product is currently riding a 6-game goal scoring and a league leading 16-game point scoring streak.
Left-winger Michael Ferland meanwhile is sixth in the scoring race with 25 points, including a team leading fourteen goals in 16 games. His 14 goals are tied for second in the WHL. Etem currently leads the scoring race with 22 goals and 36 points.
A former member of the Saskatoon Blades, Dziurzynski has been suspended by the WHL for his charging major and game misconduct during Tuesday’s 7-3 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. While he’s not expected to play on Friday, the length of his suspension has yet to be determined.
Friday’s game will be the first of four meetings between these two teams this season. During the 2010-11 campaign, Brandon and Calgary split their 4-game series, with each club winning once in the other team’s building. Over the course of the past five years, the Wheat Kings are 3-4-0-1 against the Hitmen on home ice and 7-8-0-1 overall.
Tickets to both weekend games are on sale now at the Keystone Centre box office, by calling 726-3555 or online at ticketmaster.ca