Moving on to the other part of the Central Division bracket the top-seed Medicine hat Tigers will face the first wild-card Brandon Wheat Kings. Though the two sides have faced each other six times already, the Tigers lead the series 3-1 in traditional, head-to-head series.
1978 WCHL Division Semi-Finals
-Back in the days when the WHL was called the WCHL and first rounds were played out in round-robin formats due to low or odd numbers of teams, the Brandon Wheat Kings and Medicine Hat Tigers faced off. This was the first time they were post-season opponents and despite a worse overall record, the 3-5 Tigers advanced, while the 4-4 Wheat Kings were knocked out. The Wheaties were a star-studded team with the likes of Brian Propp, Brad McCrimmon and Ray Allison leading the way. The Tigers, meanwhile were led by Merlin Mlinowski and current Dallas Stars’ general manager Jim Nill. The Tigers would then fall to Billings in four straight in the next round.
1980 WHL Division Semi-Finals
-The round-robin was not kind to the Wheat Kings as they were eliminated with a 1-3 record, while the Tigers advanced with a 3-1 record. Brad Kempthorne and Brant Kiessig came back to haunt their former team as the former Wheaties led the way for the Tigers in the playoffs after being acquired during the season. The Tigers got all the way to the East Division Final before falling in five games to Regina.
1993 WHL first round Medicine Hat 3 Brandon 1
-The two squads finally faced each other in a head-to-head series in 1993 and the Tigers took three of the four games. With Swift Current getting a first-round bye, the two-seed Wheat Kings came in as the top, overall seed in the first round. They were stunned by the seventh-seed Tigers. Cam Danyluk and Stacy Roest paced the Tigers to the upset. Bobby House and Marty Murray each had four points over the four games in a losing effort for Brandon. The Tigers then fell in the second round to the eventual WHL champion Swift Current Broncos.
2004 WHL Conference Semi-Finals Medicine Hat 4 Brandon 2
-It was another 11 years before the Tigers and Wheat Kings faced each other again. However it ended up being a familiar result as the Tigers once again played a part in ending Brandon’s season. Brandon took out Prince Albert in six games, while Medicine Hat needed five to beat Swift Current. Chris St. Jacques, Darren Reid and Clark MacArthur were three key players for the Tigers, who would go on to win the WHL title.
2009 WHL Conference Semi-Finals Brandon 4 Medicine Hat 0
-The Wheat Kings posted their lone series win over the Tigers in 2009. Brayden Schenn, Matt Calvert and Scott Glennie led the way for Brandon as they swept the Tyler Ennis led Tigers. The Wheaties would then get swept themselves in the next round, a Conference Final loss to Calgary.
2011 WHL Conference quarter-finals Medicine Hat 4 Brandon 2
-Two years later, it was the Tigers, once again, that advanced past the Wheat Kings. The third-seeded Med Hat squad used six games to take out the sixth-seeded Wheat Kings in the first round. Linden Vey and Emerson Etem paced the Tigers as they advanced all the way to the East Final, before losing to Kootenay.