Brandon Wheat Kings (27-20-6-2)
at Moose Jaw Warriors (32-17-7-1)
Tuesday, Feb. 14 – 7 p.m. (Mountain) / 8 p.m. (Central) – Mosaic Place
Channels: Sportsnet One; Sportsnet Now
A pair of big East Division points are on the line Tuesday evening as the Brandon Wheat Kings travel to Moose Jaw for a CHL on Sportsnet date with the Warriors.
Holding down second place in the East Division with 72 points, the Warriors are winless in three outings, while the Wheat Kings sit fourth – and in the Eastern Conference’s second wild card seed – with 62 points and having not lost in regulation in four consecutive contests.
Last time out, the Warriors suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Everett Silvertips. Goaltender Zach Sawchenko was steady in the loss, turning aside 32 of the 34 shots sent his way.
As for the Wheat Kings, they suffered a critical overtime loss at the hands of the Saskatoon Blades on Saturday evening. Kale Clague and Nolan Patrick both logged two assists each and Travis Child made 22 saves between the pipes.
Jayden Halbgewachs’ magic season continues in Moose Jaw. The 5-foot-8, 160-pound pivot sits tied for third in the WHL’s overall scoring race with 82 points (42G-40A) to his name through 56 games. The 19-year-old product of Emerald Park, Sask., has at least doubled his career-high marks in both goals and points, having previously tallied 15 goals and 41 points in 2015-16 with the Warriors.
With Nolan Patrick having missed significant time due to injury, 21-year-old leads the Wheat Kings offensive charge with 57 points (32G-25A) under his belt through 43 games. The five-year WHL veteran is on pace to top the career highs he set in 2015-16, when he registered 33 goals and 61 points in 68 games during his first full campaign in Brandon.
As for Patrick, the projected first overall pick for the 2017 NHL Draft has been more than productive when healthy this season, having garnered 29 points (12G-17A) in 17 contests.
The aforementioned Sawchenko is enjoying a stellar season in the blue paint for the Warriors, going 21-11-5-1 with a 2.91 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and one shutout through 38 appearances.
At the other end, Logan Thompson and Travis Child have seen similar action this season. In 27 games – all with the Wheat Kings – the 19-year-old Thompson is 10-9-4-2 with a 3.07 GAA, .908 SV% and one shutout. As for Child, the 19-year-old veteran came to Brandon from Swift Current in a deal for longtime puck-stopper Jordan Papirny at the WHL Trade Deadline. Since making his way east, Child is 4-0-1-0 with a 1.90 GAA, .922 SV% and one shutout with the Wheat Kings. Over 29 appearances this season, he is 17-3-1-3 with a 2.84 GAA, .905 SV% and two shutouts.
It wasn’t all that long ago these two teams met. In fact, last Wednesday, the Wheat Kings played host to the Warriors in a doubleheader of sorts, as the two teams played out the remaining minutes of a Sept. 24 contest that was suspended due to fog at Westman Place before then engaging in a complete contest later that evening.
Interestingly enough, the two teams split the doubleheader with the Warriors claiming a 4-3 overtime win to start the night before the Wheat Kings earned a 4-3 overtime triumph to close the evening. The first outing saw Thomas Foster score the overtime winner for the Warriors, while Patrick ended the second tilt 37 seconds into the extra period.
Tuesday night marks the seventh of eight games between the Warriors and Wheat Kings this season. The two East Division rivals will close their seasons series on March 8 back in Moose Jaw’s Mosaic Place.
GAME DAY: East division rivals collide tonight as the Warriors take on the Wheat Kings at Mosaic Place. Puck drop is at 8pm pic.twitter.com/yOvga0mMiX
— Moose Jaw Warriors (@MJWARRIORS) February 14, 2017
Moose Jaw Warriors
Head coach: Tim Hunter
Leading scorers: C Jayden Halbgewachs (42-40-82); LW Brayden Burke (16-54-70); C Brett Howden (28-32-60)
Leading goaltender: Zach Sawchenko (38GP, 21-11-5-1, 2.91 GAA, .917 SV%, 1 SO)
Power play: T-10th – 21.3 per cent
Penalty kill: Fifth – 81.9 per cent
Injuries/unavailable: F Noah Gregor (lower body, week to week); F Jaxan Kaluski (lower body, indefinite); F Tristin Langan (lower body, one to two weeks); D Colin Paradis (lower body, one to two weeks); D Dmitri Zaitsev (upper body, day to day)
— Brandon Wheat Kings (@bdnwheatkings) February 14, 2017
Brandon Wheat Kings
Head coach: David Anning
Leading scorers: C Reid Duke (32-25-57); LW Ty Lewis (25-30-55); LW Tyler Coulter (24-28-52)
Leading goaltender: Travis Child (29GP, 17-3-1-3, 2.84 GAA, .905 SV%, 2 SO)
Power play: Eighth – 22.5 per cent
Penalty kill: 12th – 79.0 per cent
Injuries/unavailable: F Caiden Daley (illness, day to day); F Reid Duke (illness, day to day); F Linden McCorrister (lower body, week to week); F Cole Reinnhardt (illness, day to day)
Sept. 23 – Brandon (2) at Moose Jaw (3) – OT
Nov. 2 – Moose Jaw (3) at Brandon (2) – OT
Dec. 30 – Moose Jaw (3) at Brandon (4) – OT
Dec. 31 – Brandon (2) at Moose Jaw (1) – OT
Feb. 8 – Moose Jaw (4) at Brandon (3) – OT
Feb. 8 – Moose Jaw (3) at Brandon (4) – OT
Feb. 14 – Brandon at Moose Jaw
March 8 – Brandon at Moose Jaw
CHL on Sportsnet schedule
Friday, Feb. 17 – Spokane Chiefs at Kelowna Rockets
Tuesday, Feb. 21 – Edmonton Oil Kings at Kamloops Blazers
Friday, Feb. 24 – Victoria Royals at Vancouver Giants