Brandon Wheat Kings head coach/GM Kelly McCrimmon gave Riley Day his orders and the defenceman's eyes lit up.
With fear or excitement, only Day knows, but he was tasked -- for the first time -- with shutting down Calgary Hitmen all-rounder Ryan Getzlaf last night.
Consider it a success.
Day and Wheaties beat the Hitmen 3-1 at the Saddledome, knotting the WHL Eastern Conference semifinal 3-3 in the process.
Day, 19, the biggest of the Brandon defencemen at 6 ft. 4 in., 218 lb., hopped over the boards every time Getzlaf, Shaun Landolt and Andrew Ladd set foot on the ice.
It didn't take long for Day, who is from Brandon, to get under Getzlaf's skin. But Day wasn't disclosing what was said.
"It was just a lot of hockey talk on the ice. Just trying to get in everybody's heads but it's just on the ice and not off the ice," said Day, who also got into a shoving match with Ladd in the third period.
Suffice it to say, he and Getzlaf still won't be going out for a beer anytime soon after a second period faceoff in the Hitmen zone.
Getzlaf unleashed a verbal tirade towards Day at the blueline, then after the puck was dropped and had gone into the Brandon end, Getzlaf chased down Day and attempted a monster check in the corner but didn't quite get all of the rugged blueliner.
It was that type of game for the Hitmen captain, who assisted on Jeff Schultz's goal with eight seconds left, extending his point streak to 10 games.
For Day and defence partner Stephane Lenoski, it was a job well done as Calgary's top line was held off the scoresheet.
"I thought our whole team played well and it was just a matter of shutting down that big line," said Day, a former Medicine Hat Tiger.