PLETHORA OF WHEAT KINGS NEWS THIS WEEK

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Photo by Brandi Pollock

HOCKEY CANADA CALLS ON SCHNEIDER

Forty-four of the top U18 players in Canada have been invited to Calgary to earn a chance to play for their country at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Red Deer and Edmonton this August.

Making the list was Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Braden Schneider. Schneider will join 14 other defensemen from the CHL and CJHL at the camp. The Prince Albert native had 22 points in 66 games in his rookie season with the Wheat Kings.

“Unlike our other summer camps, these players are part of a selection process from the moment they arrive, and the opportunity is to represent Canada on the world’s stage,” said Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey operations and national teams for Hockey Canada. “We have a very talented group of players coming to Calgary in late July, and we will no doubt have some very difficult decisions to make when it’s time to select this year’s Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team. The players are excited to arrive and get started, and they are all coming in with the goal of making our decision a difficult one.”

Link to Story – Click Here

BUKAC RELEASED, WHEAT KINGS TO SELECT TWO IMPORTS

The Brandon Wheat Kings will make a pair of selections at the annual CHL Import Draft that begins Thursday morning.

The Wheat Kings hold the 37th overall pick in the draft and due to prospect Martin Kaut being drafted by the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, Brandon will be allowed an additional pick in 2nd round.

Kaut was Brandon’s first round selection last year but spent the season in his home country of Czech Republic.

The Wheat Kings have also released Daniel Bukac. The Boston Bruins draft pick played two seasons in Brandon and will be eligible to any other team in tomorrow’s draft.

The Saint John Sea Dogs have the 1st overall pick.

Link to Story – Click Here

WHL, WHEAT KINGS ANNOUNCE 2017/18 SCHEDULE

The WHL’s new 68-game schedule has been released and the Brandon Wheat Kings will open the season at home on September 21st vs the Moose Jaw Warriors.

Of Brandon’s thirty-four (34) regular season home games, twenty-six (26) will be played on weekends and holidays.

The Wheat Kings will play thirteen Friday night home games, nine on Saturdays, two more on Sundays, one on Monday, February 18th Louis Riel Family Day and another on Thursday, December 27th as Brandon kicks off its post Christmas schedule against the visiting Regina Pats

For a full schedule including important dates – Click Here

OTHER HOUSEKEEPING ITEMS

-Wheat Kings graduating defenseman James Shearer has committed to the University of Calgary Dinos. There he will join fellow alumni members Jordan Papirny and Tyler Coulter.

Wheat Kings / Alumni at NHL Development Camps

-Logan Thompson (97), Washington Capitals
-Ty Lewis (98), Colorado Avalanche
-Stelio Mattheos (99), Carolina Hurricanes
-Tanner Kaspick (97), St. Louis Blues
-Reid Duke (96), Vegas Golden Knights
-Luka Burzan (00), Ottawa Senators
-Martin Kaut (99), Colorado Avalanche
-Kale Clague (98), Los Angeles Kings
-Daniel Bukac (99), Boston Bruins

-Cole Reinhardt (00), Colorado Avalanche

-Evan Weinger (97), San Jose Sharks

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FUTURE STARS ON DISPLAY AT PROSPECTS CAMP

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Photo by Brandi Pollock

Brandon, MB (CKLQ) – The 2018 Brandon Wheat Kings Prospects Camp wrapped up on Sunday morning with Team Black skating to a 3-1 victory in a low scoring affair.

Thirty of the club’s top prospects took part in the three-day camp that included on-ice skills sessions, practices and Sunday’s intra-squad game. For the Wheat Kings hockey staff, it’s a great weekend to bring their prospects together.

“It’s been a really good week with lots of information for both the players and their families,” said Director of Scouting Darren Ritchie. “We did a lot of skills stuff with Skills Coaches Dave Lewis and Aaron Rome and our coaches ran a practice so they saw a little bit of everything.”

Brandon born Ty Thorpe scored for Team Black along with Dylan James and Mitchell Joss while 2017 First Overall Pick Ridly Greig scored for Team White in the losing cause.

The camp was made up of 2001-2003 born players, both drafted and free agents, and included a number of familiar faces. Brandon born Lynden McCallum joined Neithan Salame, Chad Nychuk, Ethan Kruger and Ridley Greig on the list of players who appeared in a Wheat King uniform during the 2017/18 regular season.

“You can tell that the 02’s that were here for the  first time last year feel more comfortable,” added Ritchie. “They are bigger and stronger and know what’s going on. It’s a good sign for the organization that our guys are getting better.”

The big news out of Prospects Camp was the signing of four top players to WHL Contracts. Vincent Iorio who was the teams 2017 2nd round selection put pen to paper along with Nolan Ritchie (’17 – 3rd Rd), Jake Chiasson (’18 – 1st Rd) and Brett Hyland (’18 – 2nd Rd).

With Prospects Camp now in the books the Wheat Kings will turn their attention to Fall Camp which is scheduled to begin in late August.

Meanwhile, off the ice… Wheat Kings’ Early Bird Season Ticket Deadline is fast approaching.

Fans have until Thursday, June 14th to purchase their 2018-19 season ticket at last year’s price. As well, for those that do renew by the deadline, they will receive a limited edition bobblehead, featuring the likeness for former Wheat King great Ron Hextall.

For more information or to order your 2018-19 season tickets, be sure to visit the Wheat Kings’ office at the Keystone Centre or call (204) 726-3555.

WEEKEND PLAYER SIGNINGS

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Vincent Iorio – Elite Prospects

“He’s real smart, a good puck moving defenseman, that will join the rush… He sees the ice well and has a real good stick for defending.” -Dir. of Scouting, Darren Ritchie.

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Nolan Ritchie – Elite Prospects

“Nolan is a smart player. He does the little things right and is a competitive player.” -Dir. of Scouting Darren Ritchie.

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Jake Chiasson – Elite Prospects

“Jake’s very competitive and a great leader. He is like a pro, he works hard and is going to be a very good player in this league.” -Dir. of Scouting Darren Ritchie.

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Brett Hyland – Elite Prospects

“He’s a competitive guy, a real hard worker that goes to the net and has real good leadership abilities.” – Dir. of Scouting Darren Ritchie

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WYTINCK PUTS GOLF ON HOLD, FOCUSING ON WHL DREAM

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Glenboro, MB (Westman Journal) – One of Manitoba’s most talented young golfers has decided to put the clubs in the shed for the summer, to allow his focus to remain on his WHL hockey career.

Glenboro’s Zach Wytinck, who was a member of Team Manitoba at the 2017 Canada Games just wrapped up his 2nd season with the Brandon Wheat Kings and posted a career year, scoring once and adding 19 assists for 23 points.

Heading into his 19-year-old season, Wytinck felt that he needs to spend the summer in the gym, not on the links.

“I’ve always loved both sports,” said Wytinck. “I think the competitiveness, pace and team aspect of hockey has always drawn me to it more than golf. When I got the opportunity to play for the Wheat Kings, I felt it was something i’d wanted and showed me that hockey was the right decision.”

For Wytinck, he doesn’t have to look far to see where either sport can take him. His brother Josh was the 2014 University Golf Champion with the Manitoba Bison and played pro golf for a number of years before turning to coaching. On the other side of the coin, Glenboro’s Cale Jefferies, a former Wheat King has been an inspiration for Wytinck on the hockey side. Jefferies recently wrapped up a five year university hockey career with the Guelph Gryphons.

After recently aging out of the “Junior” category in the golf world, Wytinck has turned his attention to his off season training in the gym and on the ice.

“I’m working with Paul Thompson at Outperforme Athletics right now and i’m focused on building strength and power,” said Wytinck. “I’m also working hard with (Wheat Kings Skills Coach) Dave Lewis on the ice and on the track to get faster.”

After playing 29 games in his rookie season and splitting the year with the Wheaties and the Southwest Cougars, Wytinck’s career year in 17/18 has him excited for the future.

“I am pretty happy with my development especially looking back to last year when I was sent down until now,” added Wytinck. “I am getting older now and I want to contribute more and be that much better this year. As a team we went through some ups and downs but I think the way we finished says a lot about the guys in the room.”

After regularly competing in the Manitoba Junior Championship, the Manitoba Men’s Amateur Championship and the Manitoba Junior Golf Tour in summers gone by, the Wheat King defenseman says he will keep the golf to a fun weekend event with friends and family.

“I’ve really put golf in the backseat you could say. I plan to play on the weekends and get as many rounds in as I can with my brother. He’s getting older now so I have to take advantage and maybe beat him for a change,” said Wytinck with a chuckle.

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HURRICANES ADVANCE WITH SHUTOUT WIN

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Photo by Brandi Pollock

Lethbridge, AB (CKLQ) – The Lethbridge Hurricanes punched their ticket to the WHL’s Eastern Conference Final with a 3-0 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings on Friday night.

The Hurricanes had a flurry of chances in the first period and opened the scoring on a short-handed breakaway. New York Ranger prospect Brad Morrison snapped home his 11th of the post-season to send the sellout crowd at the Enmax Centre into a frenzy.

The goal from Morrison came just moments after Taylor Ross was awarded a penalty shot. Dylan Myskiw read it perfectly and turned it aside with the blocker.

In the 2nd the Hurricanes added to their lead on the powerplay as Logan Barlage found a loose puck and buried it past Dylan Myskiw.

The Wheat Kings tried desperately to get back into the hockey game but couldn’t beat Logan Flodell. The overage goalie made 32 saves for his first shutout of the 2018 WHL Playoffs.

Brad Morrison would seal the game with an empty netter late in the third period, sending the Hurricanes to the conference final vs the winner of the Swift Current / Moose Jaw Series.

Dylan Myskiw made 27 saves in the losing effort and finishes the post-season with a 5-4 record and a 3.51 goals against average.

A full season recap with quotes from Head Coach David Anning and GM Grant Armstrong will follow in the coming days.

CROWE’S NOTES

-The Wheat Kings scratched Logan Thompson (Lower Body), Ty Ettinger (Healthy), Jonny Hooker (Healthy) & Baron Thompson (Healthy).

-In a classy move, the Hurricanes named all three overage Wheat Kings as the game’s  Three Stars. Evan Weinger, Logan Thompson and James Shearer each were saluted by the crowd following the game.

-Attendance at the Enmax Centre was 5,249

SCORING SUMMARY

1st PERIOD

LETH – Brad Morrison (11) (Bellerive, Prefontaine) 10:09 SHG

Shots: 11-11

2nd PERIOD

LETH – Logan Barlage (4) (Olsen, Elmer) 10:53 PPG

Shots: 12-10 Brandon

3rd PERIOD

LETH – Brad Morrison (12) (Unassisted) 19:54 EN

Final Shots: 32-30 Brandon

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HURRICANES OUTLAST WHEATIES IN GAME FOUR

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Photo by Brandi Pollock

Brandon, MB (CKLQ) – The Brandon Wheat Kings dug themselves an early hole and couldn’t climb out of it in game four on Wednesday night as they fell 7-4 to the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes scored four goals before the media timeout of the first period. Brad Morrison, who continues to lead the ‘Canes in playoff scoring had two goals and an assist in the first period alone.

The Wheat Kings would come to life in the early stages of the 2nd period as they scored three unanswered goals. Marcus Sekundiak scored his fifth of the post-season followed up with goals from Luka Burzan and Stelio Mattheos.

With Brandon within one, the Hurricanes responded.

Zane Franklin scored his first of the post-season to restore the two goal lead. His late 2nd period goal would stand up as the eventual game-winner.

The Hurricanes would make it a 6-3 game when Jake Elmer scored just 97 seconds into third period.

Ty Lewis would give Brandon some life in the third but it was a close as the Wheat Kings would get.

Logan Barlage would seal the game with a late goal sending the Hurricanes back to Lethbridge with a 3-1 series lead.

Dylan Myskiw allowed all seven goals, stopping 20 of 27 while Logan Flodell bounced back for the ‘Canes making 27 saves for the win.

The Wheat Kings will now face elimination for the first time this season on Friday night. Puck drop at the Enmax Centre is set for 8:00 MB time. The Q Country pre-game show will hit the airwaves at 7:30.

CROWE’S NOTES

-The Wheat Kings scratched Logan Thompson (Lower Body), Ty Ettinger (Healthy), Jonny Hooker (Healthy) & Gunnar Wegleitner (Healthy).

-The QCountry / Star FM pre-game tail-gate party raised $14,000 for the Humboldt Broncos. Federated Co-op will match that number, bringing the total amount raised to $28,000.

-Ty Lewis was awarded the first penalty shot of the playoffs for the Wheat Kings in the 2nd period. Logan Flodell stopped the snapshot with his blocker.

-Attendance at Westoba Place was. 3,244

SCORING SUMMARY

1st PERIOD

LETH – Brad Morrison (9) (Joseph, Olsen)
LETH – Jake Elmer (3) (Morrison) 5:11
LETH – Dylan Cozens (4) (Bellerive, Ross) 8:34
LETH – Brad Morrison (10) (Elmer) 10:05

Shots: 10-8 Brandon

2nd PERIOD

BWK – Marcus Sekundiak (5) (McCartney, Higson) 3:28
BWK – Luka Burzan (5) (Schneider, Lewis) 6:14
BWK – Stelio Mattheos (6) (McCorrister, Wytinck) 12:18 (Delayed Penalty)
LETH – Zane Franklin (1) (Barlage) 15:25

Shots: 14-11 Brandon

3rd PERIOD

LETH – Jake Elmer (4) (Unassisted) 1:37
BWK – Ty Lewis (6) (Mattheos, Bukac) 4:34
LETH – Logan Barlage (3) (Zudilov, Addison) 17:02

Final Shots: 31-27 Brandon

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MATTHEOS LEADS BRANDON TO VICTORY

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Photo by Brandi Pollock

GAME HIGHLIGHTS – CLICK HERE

Brandon, MB (CKLQ) – A little home cooking was all that the Brandon Wheat Kings needed to get back into the WHL’s Eastern Conference Semi-Final.

Stelio Mattheos (1G-3A) & Linden McCorrister (1G-2A) and Luka Burzan (2G) lead the way for the Wheat Kings as they beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes 5-4 on Tuesday night.

The Wheat Kings scored first for just the third time in the WHL Playoffs as Linden McCorrister lit the lamp just 3:57 into the game.

In a truly heart warming moment, Humboldt’s Logan Barlage scored his 2nd of the post-season late in the first period. Barlage celebrated by pointing to the sky, in recognition of the 15 people who lost their lives in the tragic Humboldt Broncos bus accident on Friday night.

A couple of Brandon Boys would find their way onto the score sheet one after the other. Ty Lewis made it 2-1 Brandon late in the first before Calen Addison tied the game up early in the 2nd.

Luka Burzan and Brad Morrison would exchange goals before the midway point of the 2nd period to tie the game at three.

With less than 2:25 left in the middle frame, the Wheat Kings rattle off two quick goals, giving them their largest lead of the night at 5-3.

The Hurricanes would get a powerplay goal in the third period to cut the lead to one, but that was a close as they would get.

Dylan Myskiw made 35 saves for his 5th career post-season win while Logan Flodell took the loss, turning aside 35 shots as well.

Game four goes Wednesday night at Westoba Place. (7:00 puck drop, 6:30 broadcast)

CROWE’S NOTES

-The Wheat Kings scratched Logan Thompson (Lower Body), Ty Ettinger (Healthy), Jonny Hooker (Healthy) & Gunnar Wegleitner (Healthy).

-The Wheat Kings finished the night 1/6 on the powerplay, the Hurricanes 2/5.

-$6,680 dollars was raised tonight in support of the Humboldt Broncos, with another night of fundraising set to take place during game four on Wednesday night.

-Attendance at Westoba Place was 3,710

SCORING SUMMARY

1st PERIOD

BWK – Linden McCorrister (5) (Gutenberg, Weinger) 3:57
LETH – Logan Barlage (2) (Franklin, Zudilov) 16:08
BWK – Ty Lewis (5) (McCorrister, Mattheos) 18:51 PPG

Shots: 18-15 Lethbridge

2nd PERIOD

LETH – Calen Addison (3) (Blocker) 2:54
BWK – Luka Burzan (3) (Lewis, Mattheos) 3:12
LETH – Brad Morrison (7) (Ross, Bellerive) 9:12 4on3
BWK – Luka Burzan (4) (McCorrister, Mattheos) 17:35
BWK – Stelio Mattheos (5) (Lewis, Hartje) 19:15

Shots: 15-12 Brandon

3rd PERIOD

LETH – Brad Morrison (7) (Ross, Addison) 14:35 PPG

Final Shots: 40-39 Brandon

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HURRICANES WIN IT IN OVERTIME

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Photo by Brandi Pollock

Lethbridge, AB (CKLQ) – The Brandon Wheat Kings find themselves in familiar territory after a 5-4 overtime loss in Lethbridge on Saturday night.

For the 2nd time in the 2018 WHL Playoffs, the Wheat Kings are down two games to nothing to a Central Division opponent.

“Both teams took a lot of penalties tonight and it took the flow out of the game,” said Wheat Kings Head Coach David Anning.

Fourteen minor penalties were called on the night, however unlike in game number one powerplay goals were at a premium. Both teams combined for just one powerplay marker on the night.

Brandon scored first in the game for just the second time in eight playoff games and quickly opened up a 4-0 lead early in the 2nd period. After the 4th goal, the Hurricanes took their thirty second timeout. That proved to be a turning point as Lethbridge finished the period on a 2-0 run with a four on four goal and a short-handed marker.

In the third, the Hurricanes dominated on the shot-clock, outshooting the Wheat Kings 16-7. The tying goal game with just 3:29 left on the clock as Jake Elmer finally broke and 0 for 6 run on the powerplay.

Tate Olsen would end it late in the first overtime as his shot skipped off the glove of Dylan Myskiw and over the goal line. Olsen finished the night with three points.

Brandon, who got four different goal scorers on the night now faces the same situation as in the first round series with Medicine Hat, returning home in a hole.

“We have to draw on the experiences that we’ve been there before,” said Anning. “We responded well when our backs were up against the wall and we needed to win game three and four. We need to make sure we’re ready to play on Tuesday.”

Brandon will be playing their first playoff game at the Keystone Centre since May 7th, 2016 when they beat Seattle 3-2 in overtime to take a 2-0 series lead on route to the Ed Chynoweth Cup.

“We’re excited to come home. There is going to be lots of energy in the building,” added Anning. “We worked hard to get back to Brandon. We gave ourselves a chance to play in the 2nd round and now we want to make the most of it.”

Tickets for game’s three and four are on sale now at the Keystone Centre Box Office and online.

CROWE’S NOTES

-The Wheat Kings scratched Logan Thompson (Lower Body), Ty Ettinger (Healthy), Jonny Hooker (Healthy) & Gunnar Wegleitner (Healthy).

-Attendance at the Enmax Centre was 4,412

-Both teams came together at centre ice prior to game two for a moment of silence to remember the 15 lives lost in the tragic bus accident in Saskatchewan yesterday. A tip of the cap goes to ‘Canes GM Peter Anholt and Communications Director Dustin Forbes for organizing a very special and emotional moment.

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SCORING SUMMARY

1st PERIOD

BWK – Marcus Sekundiak (4) (Bettens, Myskiw) 2:53

Shots: 14-5 Lethbridge

2nd PERIOD

BWK – Connor Gutenberg (3) (Unassisted) 2:55
BWK – Stelio Mattheos (4) (McCorrister) 3:36
BWK – Evan Weinger (3) (McCorrister, Schneider) 4:27 SHG
LETH – Jordy Bellerive (7) (Olsen, Morrison) 15:26 4on4
LETH – Taylor Ross (8) (Cozens) 17:29 SHG

Shots: 15-6 Brandon

3rd PERIOD

LETH – Jody Bellerive (8) (Stanley, Wilson) 12:11
LETH – Jake Elmer (2) (Olsen, Franklin) 17:22 PPG

Shots: 16-7 Lethbridge

OVERTIME

LETH – Tate Olsen (3) (Morrison, Bellerive) 16:31

Final Shots: 47-33 Lethbridge

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