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KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:38 AM ET

At one end of the spectrum you have the Brandon Wheat Kings, a team that is fighting for its playoff life and scrapping for every possible point it can get.

On the other end you have Winnipeg's Dustin Boyd, a 19-year-old Moose Jaw Warriors forward who's having a dream season on the frozen water.

Dog fight

The two WHL entities clash tonight at MTS Centre, where the Wheaties will battle the Warriors at 7 o'clock.

The Wheat Kings are in a dog fight with the Prince Albert Raiders for the fourth and final playoff spot in the WHL's East Division. Head coach Kelly McCrimmon knows that his team will have to play some desperate hockey over the next fortnight.

"We've got two weeks left, we've got six games and a three-point lead (on the Raiders), so the games are very important to us," McCrimmon said.

If the Wheat Kings do hold on to the playoff spot, they will meet the Warriors in the first round.

"We're fighting for our lives," McCrimmon said.

"If we can win (tonight) and send a message, that's great. But we need points."

Moose Jaw needs just a single point to clinch first place in the East, so Boyd's biggest concern these days is scoring 50 goals.

The Canadian junior team member, who won gold at the world championship in Vancouver two months ago, needs four tallies in his last five games to hit the 50-goal plateau.

"You try not to think about it," Boyd said yesterday from Moose Jaw. "I don't want to really jinx myself, so you just want to go out there and play your best, and hopefully the puck goes in for you."

Even if he doesn't pot 50, Boyd will be able to look back at the 2005-06 season and smile. It's been that good.

"It's been unreal," he said. "To win the gold medal and being up there for scoring and playing on a good team and having a chance to go far in the playoffs ... you couldn't ask for anything better."

First trip

Boyd will be making his first trip back to his hometown since a three-day break following the world junior, so he expects to have an adoring throng of fans at MTS Centre tonight.

He's not sure how big it will be, however.

"It all depends on how many my parents invite," he said.

The Wheat Kings will play at MTS Centre again on Saturday night against Winnipeg's Joe Barnes and the Saskatoon Blades.

Fans who purchase a ticket to tonight's game at regular price can also pick up one for Saturday's game at half price.


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