Wheat Kings shake off shellacking

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:21 AM ET

BRANDON — Now that they’ve shaken off the rust in rather agonizing fashion, the Brandon Wheat Kings are determined to show what they’re really made of.

Fresh off a 9-3 shellacking at the hands of the defending champion Windsor Spitfires in the opening game of the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup, the host team spent Saturday trying to pick themselves up off the canvas in anticipation of Sunday’s game against the Moncton Wildcats.

“It’s a new day, you’ve got to put that behind you — especially in a tournament like this where you have to focus on the next game,” said Wheat Kings defenceman Colby Robak. “It’s definitely a huge motivational boost. No one wants to get beat like that, especially when you’re hosting the Memorial Cup.

“Guys kind of wished they could have laced up and played again that night. Yeah, it was a tough start and what-not, but we’re ready to go for (Sunday).”

The Wheat Kings have a strong leadership core and they’re determined to bounce back and try to even their record.

“We all have to be a lot better than how we played last game, and I’m 100% confident we will all be ready to play,” said Wheaties forward Scott Glennie. “You know what? We didn’t play for 20 days, and we’re not really looking for any excuses of why we didn’t win.

“Our team is a lot better than that and that was just a bad game for us. Come Sunday, we’re going to be a completely different team and we’re going to have a completely different mind-set.”

Despite coming out and setting a physical tone in the opening two minutes, the Wheat Kings were outclassed in every facet of the game against the Spitfires.

Even an eternal optimist would only be marginally happy the Wheaties found a way to win the third period 2-0, but it should be noted Windsor rested many of their regulars.

“We’ve got to get off to a better start to the game — that was the big thing that hurt us,” said Wheat Kings head coach Kelly McCrimmon. “We had a lot of rust to our game that led to a lot of shortcomings to our game. I didn’t think any area of our game was where it needed to be. We were far from our best. Hopefully, we have our feet back under us and we can get back to playing the game we’re used to seeing from us.”

Surprise starter Andrew Hayes (five goals on 23 shots) and Jacob De Serres (four goals on 13 shots) both had difficulty, but nobody was hanging the loss on goaltending.

“They were probably like the rest of us. In a lot of respects, it was the perfect storm of things that could go wrong,” McCrimmon said. “We need to have solid goaltending, but at the same time, to pinpoint that as the sole reasons for our troubles (Friday) night would be overlooking some obvious areas where we need to be better.”

ken.wiebe@sunmedia.ca


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