Wheat Kings This Week: Oil Kings, Hurricanes To Visit Westoba Place
February and March are shaping up to be road-heavy months for the Brandon Wheat Kings, but they do get occasional respites from the road. This week starts out with one of those respites before ending in another contest away from Westoba Place.
On Wednesday night, the final Willie Wednesday of the season, the Wheat Kings welcome the Edmonton Oil Kings. Though they’re coming into the game off a loss to the Saskatoon Blades, they felt there were a lot of good things from that game they could carry forward into the following week.
“Our urgency and our competitiveness were really strong in the game against Saskatoon,” said head coach and GM Marty Murray. “I thought it was a good hockey game that could’ve gone either way. Given the circumstances, playing three-in-three and the travel, I thought we had a really strong game.”
The Wheat Kings have gone 2-0-1 through three games against Edmonton this season, and the Oil Kings would seem to be well back of the playoff picture, sitting in 11th in the Eastern Conference. In some ways, however, that can make them an even more dangerous opponent.
“You can’t count them out,” Murray said. “The time is now for them if they want to make a playoff push. They have some key players that can hurt you in a lot of different ways. They’re a handful when they get going.”
Next up on Friday night will be the Lethbridge Hurricanes, and as was the case in their previous meeting on January 20, the two teams will be battling for vital points in the standings. While we’ll have a clearer picture by Friday (both teams play between now and then), the Hurricanes and Wheat Kings enter the week separated by just three points in the standings.
“They’re all important from now on,” said Murray. “(Prince Albert) is important the next night too. Lethbridge is a team that’s right around us.”
Once done with Lethbridge, the Wheat Kings hop on a bus early in the morning to make the trek to Prince Albert to face the Raiders. The Raiders enter the week just outside the playoff picture, but with a chance to jump over the Calgary Hitmen for the eighth and final playoff spot in the conference.