Brandon Wheat Kings Weekly: Feb. 2

Brandon Wheat Kings this week –

The Brandon Wheat Kings begin the first week of February with a six point cushion atop the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Conference standings.

The Wheat Kings scored back to back wins over the Moose Jaw Warriors this past weekend to improve to 37-9-3-2 on the season and an impressive 10-2-1 in the month of January.

Saturday’s win in Moose Jaw not only completed a weekend home and home series sweep of the Warriors, it was the first of five straight road games for the Wheat Kings who leave Brandon this week so that Westman Place can play host to the Provincial Men’s Curling Championship.


Tuesday, January 27th – Swift Current 3 Brandon 2 (Overtime Shootout)
Netminder Landon Bow turned aside 52 shots as the visiting Broncos scored the Shootout win.  The Wheat Kings battled back from a 2-0 deficit to force overtime in the third period.

Friday, January 30th – Brandon 6 Moose Jaw 4
Rookie Nolan Patrick scored twice and set up another as the Wheat Kings rallied from a 4-3 second period deficit to beat the visiting Warriors. Brandon scored three in the first but then gave up four straight second period goals to Moose Jaw, before coming back with three unanswered.

Saturday, January 31st – Brandon 6 Moose Jaw 0
The Wheat Kings got goals from six different players including Patrick as well as a 21-save performance by veteran netminder Jordan Papirny as Brandon closed out the month of January with their 10th win in thirteen games.  With the shutout, Papirny’s 4th of the year, he moved into a 7th place tie with Josh Harding and Brian Elder on the club’s all time list. Patrick’s goal was his 23rd of the year, matching his father Steve’s first year as a Wheat King in 1978-79 when he finished the year with 54 points in 52 games.


Wednesday, February 4th @ Medicine Hat Tigers
Friday, February 6th @ Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C.
Saturday, February 7th @ Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C.
Sunday, February 8th @ Lethbridge Hurricanes


Monday, February 2nd @ 1:45pm (Optimist or Kinsmen Arena)
Tuesday, February 3rd @ 10am (Optimist or Kinsmen Arena)
(Team will leave Tuesday afternoon)


Monday, February 2nd @ MacGregor – CIBC Read to Succeed visit


Friday night’s win over Moose Jaw turned out to be a memorable night for two members of the Wheat Kings’ organization.  While general manager and head coach Kelly McCrimmon became only the 14th coach to reach the 400-win plateau, veteran defenceman Eric Roy took to the ice and played in his 300th career WHL game, becoming only the ninth player in franchise history to reach the prestigious milestone.  Meanwhile earlier in the week, the play by play voice of the Wheat Kings – CKLQ’s Bruce Luebke – was named to Manitoba’s Media Roll of Honour in Winnipeg.  The Wheat Kings honoured the 22-year veteran at both Thursday’s Sportsman’s Dinner as well as during the second period of Friday’s game at Westman Place.


Center Tim McGauley picked up three assists in Saturday’s win in Moose Jaw, giving him 100 in his 3-year WHL career … Former Spokane Chief Reid Gow is two points shy of 150 in his career … Macoy Erkamps is two games shy of 250 in his career while Gow and Morgan Klimchuk have played 240 … Latvian Rihards Bukarts eclipsed the 100-point plateau in his 2-year career this past week and now has 102 points in 106 games.


The Brandon Wheat Kings’ CKLQ Sportsman’s Dinner has come and gone for another year after another “sold out” event Thursday night at the Keystone Centre’s UCT Pavillion.

The event, which is held annually to raise money for the Wheat Kings’ Scholarship Fund, was sold out for the seventh straight year and featured the likes of Hometown Hockey’s Ron MacLean, comedian Kelly Taylor and the “Polish Eagle” Dick Jonckowski of the University of Minnesota.  MacLean, who was in Brandon for the second time in two months, shared stories of Don Cherry, Wayne Gretzky and many more. MacLean and Rogers Hometown Hockey spent a weekend in November at the Keystone Centre.

In addition to the dinner, the evening featured both Live and Silent Auctions and among the high bids during the event was a Winnipeg Jets package that included an autographed Dustin Byfuglien game jersey and two tickets to see Winnipeg host the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, March 1st. Other popular items included a Winnipeg Blue Bombers package that included eight suite tickets at Investor Group Field (donated by Canad Inns Brandon) and autographed jerseys from former Wheat Kings co-captain Matt Calvert of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.

Other autographed jerseys that were up for bid Thursday night included SUBWAY SUPER SERIES game jerseys of Brandon’s Jayce Hawryluk and John Quenneville, New Jersey’s Jordin Tootoo, Mark Stone of the Ottawa Senators, the New York Islanders’ Travis Hamonic, Los Angeles Kings’ netminder Jonahtan Quick and former Duck and future Hockey Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne.

In addition to the jerseys, a number of unique items were auctioned off.  Among them an autographed frame photo of former Brandon netminder Ron Hextall battling Felix Potvin, a limited edition Gordie Howe lithograph as well as a Wheat Kings’ “Captains Collection” that featured autographed photos of Brayden Schenn and Stone, an autographed stick from Bridgeport Sound Tigers defenceman Ryan Pulock and a beautiful Hockey Canada landscape framed photo that displayed Brandon’s U17 captains Nolan Patrick, Kale Clague and Tanner Kaspick.

As well, $745 was raised in coat check tips for Crocus Plains TADD and KAL TIRE took home a Skybox Suite to see the Winnipeg Goldeyes in action this spring as well as two tickets to see Canadian country music star Gord Bamford in concert on March 1st. Bamford’s concert tickets were donated by the Brandon Area Community Foundation.

The WHL continues to be one of the best developmental hockey leagues in the world and the WHL provides our finest young talent the opportunity to develop their skills on the ice at the highest possible level, without compromising academic goals.


The Wheat Kings IMPACT Player of the Month, presented by Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries will be announced on Tuesday and there should be a number of worthy candidates … Also this week, the Ryobi Hardest Working Players will be recognized … Tim McGauley continues to lead the club in scoring with 30 goals and 65 points in 51 games.  The 19-year old Wilcox product is also 6th in the WHL scoring race … Russian rookie defenceman Ivan Provorov, who had four assists in Saturday’s lopsided win over the Warriors in Moose Jaw continues to lead all WHL blueliners and first year players in scoring.  A first round pick of the Wheat Kings in last summer’s CHL Import Draft, Provorov has eleven goals and 50 points in 45 games this season … 16-year old rookie Nolan Patrick meanwhile is second in rookie scoring with 43 points, including a league leading 23 goals, matching his father Steve’s first year goal scoring total as a Wheat King back in 1978-79.  The former Winnipeg AAA Midget Thrasher has seven more goals than Spokane’s Kailer Yamamoto, who is second with sixteen goals … Plans are well underway for the 2nd Annual Canadian Cancer Society “Pink the Rink” Night to be held on Saturday, February 28th.

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