Brandon, MB. – The Brandon Wheat Kings will be hoping to extend their Western Hockey League Eastern Conference Semi Final series tonight when they take on the Hurricanes in Lethbridge.
The Wheat Kings need a win on the road to force a sixth game in Brandon on Sunday afternoon as they trail the best of seven series three games to one.
Rookie Wheat King defenceman Braden Schneider says the team needs to push back and it all starts in their own zone.
“I thought we were a little lazy in the D-zone (Wednesday) and they outworked us to pucks,” he told the Brandon Sun’s Perry Bergson. “We couldn’t execute and couldn’t bear down when they were doing the exact opposite. We must tighten up and do better (in game five).”
“We’ve been in this situation before,” the former first round bantam draft choice added. “We’re a pretty tight group in there and we all believe in each other. I know we can come back and do this. Everyone believes in it.”
Veteran Evan Weinger says that the Wheat Kings, who split two regular season games in Lethbridge this season, needs to play its best game of the series tonight. He’s optimistic that they will.
“They’re a good team,” he told the Brandon Sun. “Don’t get me wrong, they play hard and they’re in our face. We just have to play faster than them…get pucks behind them, finish our checks and get pucks to the net and stick to our structure. If we stick to those things….we’ll be successful.”
Brandon coach David Anning agrees. He says success comes from hard work and he expects his club to play its best game of the series tonight.
“I think we can play a little faster in our defensive zone and try to jump on loose pucks and try to win more stick battles than we’ve seen,” Anning told the Sun. “We need to be a little harder defensively and get going on the attack.”
“We need to cut down the goals against and they’re a group that has generated a lot off the rush and that creates some challenges for us,” he added. “We have to make sure that we do a better job cutting down those goals.”
Should game six be necessary, it is scheduled for 4pm Sunday at Westoba Place and tickets would go on sale at the Keystone Centre box office at 10am Saturday.
This year’s Conference Semi-Final between the Wheat Kings and Hurricanes is a presentation of Tommy Gun’s, Montanas BBQ and Bar, Precision Toyota and Brandon Source for Sports.