The Brandon Wheat Kings have some things to clean up, but who doesn’t at this point in the season? With a 3-4 record, the club finds itself on the outside looking in. Again, it’s extremely early in the season and that doesn’t matter a whole lot.
One thing that is for sure, however, is that if Brandon can continue to do what they did this past weekend, good things are definitely on the way.
On Friday night, they blanked the Vancouver Giants who are projected to be among the league’s top teams. On Saturday, they lost by a single goal against Edmonton. Sunday night brought a wild comeback as the club stunned Saskatoon.
Before we get to what’s coming up for Brandon, we’ll take a quick look into how they’ve ended up at 3-4.
When you look at their goals for and goals against, things are pretty even. They’ve scored 17 goals which has them ranked seventh in the Eastern Conference. With their 19 goals against, the team has allowed more goals than only three other teams in the East, which is a very solid stat to own.
Staying disciplined is something that hasn’t happened so far. Brandon’s 96 penalty minutes is tied for the third most in the Western Hockey League. In comparison, Moose Jaw has taken just 35 penalty minutes.
The league average as of today for penalty minutes is 72.6. Despite their penalty trouble, Brandon has done a very nice job on the penalty kill. They’re 23-for-26 for 88.5%. That’s fourth in the league.
Each week, I’ll rate how I feel the Brandon Wheat Kings are doing. This week’s rating is a B-.
At 3-4, there have been some things that haven’t gone their way, but their record could easily be better than what is actually is. For that fact, they get a solid rating for this week.
Now, let’s take a look at what’s coming up for the “Comeback Kids”.
The team’s weekend-only game schedule will continue this week. They welcome the Saskatoon Blades to Westoba Place on Friday night. That’s their only game for the week. Some people may ask why they only play one game this week, and it’s because of what’s coming up a few days after that.
I’ll talk about this more next week, but we should touch on what starts up on October 16. That’s when Brandon begins their first extended road trip of the season. They start with a date in Everett against the Silvertips.
After that they play Seattle, Portland, Tri-City, Spokane, Lethbridge, and Swift Current. The trip ends on October 26.
“We’re starting to get more effort from more guys, but we still have a ways to go,” said Don MacGillivray, courtesy of wheatkings.com. “We’re making steps, and I think once we get going in the right direction, we’re going to be fine.”
Wheat Kings leaders:
The players that everyone expected to lead the club in scoring are. Luka Burzan has four goals and three assists through seven games while Ben McCartney has three goals and two helpers.
Lynden McCallum has been a nice surprise so far. After registering just seven points in an injury shortened season last year, he already has five points (two goals).
Ridly Greig, Chad Nychuk, and Braden Schneider all have four points.
Good goaltending — two words that I can confidently use when it comes to what Brandon is receiving. Jiri Patera has a 2.77 G.A.A and a solid .922 save percentage. He’s played 303 minutes. In 118 minutes of action, Ethan Kruger also has good numbers. His GAA is 2.54 and his save percentage is at .923.
Patera also has a shut out to his name.
For now, that wraps things up. But, stay tuned later this week when we catch up with a member of the Wheat Kings ahead of their game on Friday against the Blades.
Thanks for checking in!