It's the Broncos and Wheat Kings tonight at the Civic Center for the 7th time this season. The Broncos have the season series edge at 4-1-0-1 but Brandon has won the last two games.
The Wheaties have some of the best forwards in the WHL and don't mind opening things up a little. Mark Derlago (34 goals), Codey Burki (64 points) and Juraj Simek are just three players to watch for.
On the back end, the Wheaties will be without their captain Theran Yeo who broke his wrist a couple weeks ago in a pre-game skate before hosting the Broncos. Dustin Kohn is the leader of the blueliners. Kohn is an all-situations d-man including the powerplay QB.
Brandon is in "now or never" mode with this year's team. As the 2nd oldest team in the WHL (average age:18.33) the Wheat Kings will take a big hit next year. They will lose 20 year-olds Mark Derlago, Rob Klinkhammer, and Jeff Topilko. They will also likely lose 19 year-olds Codey Burki, Dustin Kohn and Juraj Simek to pro hockey. That leaves them with a decision for their three overage spots between Tyler Plante, Tyler Dittmer, Bryan Kauk, Ryan Reaves, Theran Yeo, Daryll Boyle, and Mark Louis.
Brandon G.M. Kelly Macrimmon has faced tougher situations before and always seems to make the most of it. He'll have his hands full next year for sure.
The Broncos try to snap a five-game home ice losing skid tonight. Tied with Prince Albert for third in the east, the Broncos need to get it done on home ice down the stretch. Prince Albert plays in Medicine Hat.
Coming up on tonight's pre-game show we'll take a closer look at the latest WHL trend - good ol' fashion line brawls! In back-to-back weekends, the league has had to deal with two skirmishes. The league is doing their best to help curb this activity. In fact they say they are winning the battle. WHL Vice President of Hockey Richard Doerksen will be our guest. He says they have come a long ways even since the 2000-2001 season when one team had seven line brawls in one season alone. We'll get his take on how fines and suspensions are handed out following what they call a "multiple fight situation". The WHL believes fighting is very much a part of the game as long as it fits into the league guidelines. Have a listen just after 7pm.
Lastly, another fellow WHL broadcaster has entered "blog-nation". Former Broncos play-by-play host and good friend Regan Bartel has thrown his hat into the ring. The six-year voice of the Kelowna Rockets can be found at http://www.reganbartel.blogspot.com/ .
Broncos and Wheaties tonight @ 7:30pm. The pre-game show on the Eagle 94.1 FM begins at 7pm.
I'll have a recap following the game,