Today’s Gameday Preview: Sunday December 30th, 2018

Feature Game of the Day: Warriors @ Wheat Kings 4 PM CST

After losing back to back games against the rebuilding Regina Pats, the Brandon Wheat Kings are back in action tonight as they face off against the Moose Jaw Warriors for their fifth meeting of the season in a matinee contest at Westoba Place.

Josh Brook (Darwin Knelsen)

The Tim Hunter-less Warriors (18-8-5-1) were also playing some rebuilding competition in the Swift Current Broncos, they split their first two games back from the Christmas break. The Warriors sit 3rd in the East Division with 46 points on the season, the next closest team is the BWK with 36 points to their own. The Warriors have a solid lineup but lack the depth, and brick wall goaltending of a serious playoff contender. In an Eastern Conference crowded with so much talent, playing in the same division as the best team in the CHL, the Warriors could be making some moves before the WHL Trade Deadline. With their best defenseman in Josh Brook with Head Coach Tim Hunter at the World Juniors, this Warriors defense core gets that much more fragile. Don’t be surprised if you see Brook on the move after he returns from the WJC.

The Brandon Wheat Kings (15-12-3-3) are missing their starting goaltender in Jiri Patera who is

representing the Czech Republic at the World Juniors. Rookie netminder Ethan Kruger has carried the load since Patera left, and has not fared all too well, allowing 14 goals over his last four starts. The Wheaties aren’t seeing the same success as they are accustomed to with such rich team history. Their leading scorer Stelio Mattheos has 48 points over 32 games this season, foll

Stelio Mattheos (Bryan Heim)

owed up by Luka Burzan with 38 points, but the scoring drops off from there on out. Sitting in the 2nd Eastern Wild Card spot, the BWK are only two points up on the Calgary Hitmen, who are in action vs. Vancouver today.

Who to watch:

  • Jett Woo- MJ- (6G, 22A) Sits 5th in team scoring, expect to see a lot of the Canucks 2nd round pick in 2018 with his counterpart Brook out of the lineup at the WJC.
  • Luka Burzan- BDN- (19G, 19A) Draft eligible, a quick skating winger with quick hands, watch for him to be an impact.

Manning the Crease:

  • Brodan Salmond- MJ- (2.789 GAA, .899 SV%) Has allowed 12 goals against in his last three starts
  • Ethan Kruger- BDN- (3.178 GAA, .900 SV%) Threw up a .921 SV% in his last start vs. REG

Other Sunday Funday Action:

Regina Pats (11-24-0-1) @ Prince Albert Raiders (33-2-0-1)

  • PA has outscored Regina 21-7 over four games this season

Saskatoon Blades (21-11-5-0) @ Swift Current Broncos (7-25-2-1)

  • Swift is 2-2-1-0 over their last five, third meeting of the season.

Vancouver Giants (23-8-2-0) @ Calgary Hitmen (15-16-3-1)

  • Vancouver is 3-0-0-0 in their last five years at CGY

Red Deer Rebels (21-11-2-0) @ Edmonton Oil Kings (19-12-4-3)

  • Season series is tied at 2-2, last season the season series finished at 3-3.

Medicine Hat Tigers (19-15-1-2) @ Lethbridge Hurricanes (19-10-4-2)

  • Lethbridge leads season series 3-2, both teams have seven wins in their last ten.

Prince George Cougars (12-20-1-2) @ Kamloops Blazers (13-17-2-1)

  • Season series is 2-0 Kamloops, Blazers have outscored PG 12-4 over two meetings.

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