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ROUND ONE PLAYOFF PREVIEW – BRANDON WHEAT KINGS

Medicine Hat, AB — With the 2017 WHL Playoffs on the horizon, a 50 win season for the Tigers means they draw the Brandon Wheat Kings in the opening round of the playoffs this season. Medicine Hat has home ice advantage into the first round and will look to begin their journey to the Cup when the puck drops on Friday March 24th.

Take a look a our Playoff Preview:

Season Series

The Tigers won the season series going 3-1-0-0, winning the last 2 games at the Canalta Centre by a 10-4 score. Medicine Hat’s only loss came January 21st when the Wheat Kings dumped the Tigers 5-2 on the last game of a 3 game road trip for the Tabbies.

  • Brandon 0 @ Medicine Hat 4 (Feb. 25, 2017)
  • Brandon 4 @ Medicine Hat 6 (Jan. 28, 2017)
  • Medicine Hat 2 @ Brandon 5 (Jan. 21, 2017)
  • Medicine Hat 5 @ Brandon 3 (Nov. 23, 2016)

 

Playoff History

Medicine Hat and Brandon have faced off a total of six times in the playoffs since the Tigers came into the WHL back in 1970. The two clubs haven’t met in a playoff round since the 2010-11 season. Overall the Tigers hold a 5-1 edge in series victories over Brandon.

  • 10-11 – Medicine Hat def. Brandon 4-2 – Eastern Conference Quarter Finals
  • 08-09 – Brandon def. Medicine Hat 4-0 – Eastern Conference Semi-Finals
  • 03-04 – Medicine Hat def. Brandon 4-1 – East Conference Semi-Finals
  • 92-93 – Medicine Hat def. Brandon 3-1 – East Division Quarter Finals
  • 83-84-  Medicine Hat (4-0) advances with Regina (2-2), while Brandon was eliminated (0-4) – Conference Quarter-Finals Round Robin
  • 79-80 – Medicine Hat (3-1) advances with Regina (2-2), while Brandon was eliminated (1-3) – Conference Semi-Final Round Robin

 

Club Leaders (Regular Season)

Medicine Hat Brandon
Goals 36 – Mark Rassell 37 – Reid Duke
Assists 76 – Chad Butcher 38 – Ty Lewis
Points 103 – Chad Butcher 71 – Reid Duke
Plus/Minus +50 – Clayton Kirichenko +10 – Tyler Coulter
Penalty Minutes 145 – Zach Fischer 104 – Schael Higson
Wins 32 – Nick Schneider 17 – Travis Child

 

Scoring Leaders Head to Head

Medicine Hat Brandon
Goals 3 – Mark Rassell/Mason Shaw 3 – Reid Duke
Assists 4 – Chad Butcher 3 – Stelio Mattheos/Kale Clague
Points 6 – Chad Butcher 5 – Stelio Mattheos
Plus/Minus +5 – Clayton Kirichenko +2 – Kade Jensen/Dmitry Osipov
Penalty Minutes 15 – Zach Fischer 17 – Dmitry Osipov
Wins 2 – Michael Bullion 1 – Logan Thompson

 

Special Teams

Power Play

  • Tigers
    • 2nd Overall – 29.4% (88/299)
    • Vs Brandon- 22.7% (5/22)
  • Wheat Kings
    • 9th Overall – 22.0% (66/300)
    • Vs Medicine Hat – 46.2% (6/13)

Penalty Kill

  • Tigers
    • 6th Overall – 81.6% (235/288)
    • Vs Brandon – 53.8% (7/13)
  • Wheat Kings
    • 10th Overall – 79.3% (264/333)
    • Vs Medicine Hat – 77.3% (17/22)

 

Players to Watch

Tigers

  • Chad Butcher – C (27G, 76A, 103P, +16)
    • Butcher had a career season, his 5th with the Tigers, and lead the team in scoring and assists. Butcher heads into the post season with 24 playoff games under his belt, scoring 5 times. Butcher ended his season recording points in 7 of his last 8 games, scoring 14 points (4G, 10A).
  • Mark Rassell – LW (36G, 25A, 61P, +11)
    • Like Butcher, Rassell had a career season, doubling his point totals from last year and being the unlikely goal scoring leader of the Tigers this season with 36 markers. Rassell led the entire WHL in shorthanded goals with 7 and was an effective force on the power play in front of the net.
  • James Hamblin – C (23G, 24A, 47P, +21)
    • Medicine Hat’s 1st round Bantam pick in 2014 has had a breakout sophomore season recording 47 points in 69 games. Hamblin has finished strong seeing more time on special teams. Hamblin has scored 6 goals in his last 4 games heading into the post season.

Wheat Kings

  • Reid Duke– C (37G, 34A, 71P, +9)
    • The first player to be signed by the Vegas Golden Knights, Duke led the Wheat Kings in scoring with 71 points and set new career highs in all offensive categories. Duke is one of the handful of Wheat Kings that were apart of Brandon’s championship winning season last year.
  • Nolan Patrick – C (20G, 46A, 46P, +9)
    • The consensus number one overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft, Patrick is a dynamic two-way hockey player who can put the puck in the net. Last season Patrick collected 102 points in 72 games, however Patrick started the year coming off surgery and only suited up in 33 games. He has 2 goals in 2 games against the Tigers this season.
  • Tyler Coulter – LW (30G, 33A, 63P, +10)
    • Brandon’s third leading scorer this season, Coulter is notably a pest on the ice. He is one of 5 players in the WHL who recorded 100 or more penalty minutes and 60 or more points this season. Coulter has 40 games of WHL playoff experience, scoring 27 points in those games including a WHL Championship last year.

 

20 Year Olds

Both teams have three players competing in their final WHL season. Two of Brandon’s overage players are looking to add a 2nd Ed Chynoweth Cup to their resume, while the Tigers 20 year olds are looking for a long playoff run and a Championship before they move onto the next level.

Tigers

  • Chad Butcher – C (27G, 76A, 103P, +16)
  • Steven Owre – LW (26G, 62A, 88P, +18)
  • Clayton Kirichenko  – D (12G, 52A, 64P, +50)

Wheat Kings

  • Reid Duke – C (37G, 34A, 71P, +9)
  • Tyler Coulter – LW (30G, 33A, 63P, +10)
  • Dmitry Osipov – D (2G, 12A, 14P, -2)

 

Streaks

Tigers

  • James Hamblin has 6 goals in his past 4 games, including 4 in his last 2 games heading into the post season
  • Clayton Kirichenko is on a 4 game point streak having recorded 7 assists
  • Steven Owre has 16 points (4G, 12A) over his last 9 games
  • Max Gerlach ended his season with a 4 game point streak, scoring 3 goals and adding 3 assists
  • David Quenneville is on a 3 game point streak (1G, 2A)
  • Chad Butcher has 14 points in his last 8 games to end the season, including 5 multi-point games over that span

Wheat Kings

  • None
    • There are no Wheat Kings players riding a point streak heading into the post season

 

Schedule

Game 1 Fri March 24 7:30 PM MT Brandon @ Medicine Hat
Game 2 Sat March 25 7:30 PM MT Brandon @ Medicine Hat
Game 3 Tues March 28 6:30 PM MT Medicine Hat @ Brandon
Game 4 Wed March 29 6:30 PM MT Medicine Hat @ Brandon
Game 5* Fri March 31 7:30 PM MT Brandon @ Medicine Hat
Game 6* Sun April 2 6:30 PM MT Medicine Hat @ Brandon
Game 7* Tues April 4 7:00 PM MT Brandon @ Medicine Hat

* if necessary

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