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Shew's Views

About James Shewaga:

James Shewaga is the Brandon Sun’s sports editor.

  • Brandon's young guns impressive

    It’s only a snapshot of the season, but the past two games have offered Brandon Wheat Kings fans a tantalizing glimpse of the future. Forget for a moment that the Wheat Kings (20-31-2-2) are nine points out of a playoff position, sport the WHL’s worst combined specialty teams (21st on the power play, 22nd in penalty killing) and have been a disaster defensively (surrendering the most shots against in the league at 36.38 per game). And let’s overlook the fact that Brandon’s 19- and 20-year-old players have been a bit of a disappointment overall, while the jury is still out on Dwayne Gylywoychuk’s first stint as a head coach.
  • Specialty teams struggle, but future bright

    From Brandonite Cassie Hawrysh to the Brandon Wheat Kings, we’re all over the map today with some news, notes and quotes: • How disastrous have the Wheat Kings’ specialty teams been this year? Brandon is now dead last in the WHL in both power play (14.0 per cent) and penalty killing (70.6 per cent). At this pace, they will be the first WHL team to finish worst in both categories since ... well, the Wheat Kings back in 2005-06. That season — rebuilding after losing the likes of Eric Fehr, Ryan Stone, Tim Konsorada, Lance Monych, Steven Later and Jakub Sindel from their run to the 2005 WHL final — Brandon’s power play clicked only 11.4 per cent of the time, while their penalty-killing percentage was 78.0.
  • Plenty to ponder during Wheat Kings' stretch run

    It’s starting to look like the Brandon Wheat Kings’ run of 12 straight playoff appearances will end this season. But there certainly are plenty of intriguing questions to be answered down the stretch. Here are 10 on my list:
  • Devil gets his due as Salvador named captain

    Two years ago, Bryce Salvador didn’t know if he would ever play in the NHL again. Now he has become the 10th captain in the history of the New Jersey Devils, the latest chapter in his remarkable recovery from a serious concussion that forced him to miss the entire 2010-11 season.
  • Trades make sense for Brandon

    With his team floundering well out of playoff position, Brandon Wheat Kings general manager Kelly McCrimmon bit the bullet and did what he had to do at Thursday’s WHL trade deadline. McCrimmon managed to overhaul his roster and stockpile a package of players, prospects and picks in a busy deadline day that featured a trio of trades by the Wheat Kings. It will be a few years down the road before we know just how well McCrimmon did in reshaping his roster, but on paper at least, the moves set the Wheat Kings up well for the future.
  • McCrimmon has two aces to deal at trade deadline

    If he hadn’t already made up his mind, Wednesday’s 10-2 thrashing at the hands of the Calgary Hitmen should have clinched it for Brandon Wheat Kings general manager Kelly McCrimmon, with the WHL trade deadline only six days away. It’s now 40 games into this WHL season, and the Wheat Kings (14-22-2-2) simply haven’t provided any compelling evidence that this is a playoff team. Particularly troubling is the fact that the Wheat Kings have given up more goals (170) than any other team in the league and are a disaster on specialty teams — 19th out of 22 teams on the power play (15.7 per cent) and dead last in penalty killing (a dismal 69.0 per cent). Those aren’t the kind of statistics that translate into playoff success.
  • Should the Wheat Kings trade their Swiss sniper?

    Has Alessio Bertaggia played his last game for the Brandon Wheat Kings? It’s a question that Brandon Wheat Kings fans — and GM Kelly McCrimmon — will likely be pondering over the Christmas break, with the WHL trade deadline just three weeks away.
  • McIntosh puts WHL scholarship into practice

    From Brayden Schenn and Matt Calvert to Travis Hamonic and Keith Aulie, there have been plenty of recent success stories of Brandon Wheat Kings moving on to the NHL. But there is another side to the WHL experience for the majority of players in the league who don’t sign million-dollar NHL contracts, but have gone on to do great things. Geoff McIntosh is one of those other success stories — a veritable poster boy for the WHL’s scholarship program.
  • Pulock fills void in Wheat Kings' lineup

    Some news, notes and quotes as the Brandon Wheat Kings prepare for the fur to fly in the annual Teddy Bear Toss tonight at Westman Place: • Captain Ryan Pulock may not be the magic solution to make all of the Wheat Kings’ problems disappear.
  • Westman schools make volleyball history

    We’re all over the map today, while wondering if the Brandon Wheat Kings have started the long slide into lottery pick contention. But more on that later. First, we take a look at a little high school history that was made on the volleyball court.
  • Bauman basks in CFL spotlight

    Brandon’s Chris Bauman will be part of CFL history this weekend. The 28-year-old Calgary Stampeders receiver is preparing for the biggest game of his career when the Stampeders face the Toronto Argonauts at Rogers Centre in Toronto in the 100th Grey Cup game.
  • Penalty killing not Brandon's specialty

    The statistical story never tells the whole story, but there certainly are some telling numbers when you look at this year’s edition of the Brandon Wheat Kings. Sporting a 9-9-2-1 record heading into tonight’s first of back-to-back games against the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C., the Wheat Kings have fallen out of a playoff position — keeping in mind it is only November — and into ninth place in the WHL’s Eastern Conference. When you break down the numbers, it’s easy to see the areas that need the most work for the Wheat Kings.
  • Perfect season 'surreal' for Thornborough

    It’s only November, but Christmas clearly came early for Brandon’s Amanda Thornborough this month. The 22-year-old Canadian sevens women’s rugby team member helped the St. Francis Xavier University X-Women cap a perfect season by winning the national championship last weekend in Antigonish, N.S., and now turns her attention to representing the country halfway around the world. In the final game of her university career, Thornborough scored a try and was named player of the game — and a tournament all-star — as she led No.1-ranked St.FX to a 37-0 triumph over Guelph to finish the season with a perfect 12-0 record.
  • Historic night for Bobcats

    It’s opening night for Brandon University’s new Healthy Living Centre and Brandonite Kellie Baker can’t wait to be a part of history. “We are pretty excited because it will be our first weekend in the new facility and it’s obviously going to be a pretty hyped-up weekend,” said Baker, the starting setter for the Bobcats women’s volleyball team that will officially play the first Canada West conference match in the new $20-million, 80,000-square-foot facility tonight against the Thompson Rivers WolfPack.
  • Volleyball team in good hands with Wilson

    From Bobcats to Olympic hopefuls to a bad case of Perimeteritis, we’re all over the map today. But with the Canada West conference season opening tonight, let’s start on campus at Brandon University. In seven short seasons, Russ Paddock has taken the Bobcats from expansion team to national contender, with silver and bronze medals to the program’s credit. Paddock has passed the torch to longtime assistant Grant Wilson to serve as head coach this season while Paddock concentrates on his athletic director duties including overseeing the Bobcats’ move into the new Healthy Living Centre.
  • Olympic qualifying a slippery slope

    It’s 475 days until the 2014 Winter Olympics open in Sochi, Russia, but the first big step begins tomorrow for Cassie Hawrysh of Brandon and 2010 gold medallist Jon Montgomery of Russell. Hawrysh and Montgomery will compete in the national team trials Saturday in Calgary and a week later in Whistler, B.C., and the stakes couldn’t be any higher. Sliders will need to make either the World Cup team or the Intercontinental Cup team in order to remain in consideration for Canada’s 2014 Olympic squad.
  • Hockey heavyweights court local stars

    Growing up in the town of Neepawa, Halli Krzyzaniak never dreamed that one day she would be standing on the sidelines of an Ohio State Buckeyes football game with 104,745 fans in the stands. But that’s just one of the perks when you are one of the most hotly recruited female hockey players in the country.
  • Wheaties need work to build on start

    First off this week, it’s time to give a little credit where credit is due. Dwayne Gylywoychuk has had a dynamite debut as Brandon Wheat Kings head coach, guiding what was projected to be a rebuilding team to an impressive 4-1-0-0 start — including winning two of three road games — for a share of second place overall in the Western Hockey League. The Wheat Kings even earned a little recognition nationally, receiving an honourable mention in this week’s CHL rankings.
  • Champ changed Bonhomme's life

    Longtime television journalist Henry Champ was well known for his work with the CBC, CTV and NBC and carved out a storied career as one of Canada’s most respected international correspondents. But for Ilarion Bonhomme of the Brandon University Bobcats men’s basketball team, Champ will always be known as the man who changed his life.
  • Gylywoychuk gears up for regular-season debut

    In a season of firsts, tonight will be a big one for Dwayne Gylywoychuk. The new head coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings makes his official debut as the man calling the shots behind the bench tonight when the Wheat Kings begin the 2012-13 WHL season by battling the rival Regina Pats at Westman Place in the Brandon Sun Home Opener. For Gylywoychuk, it’s a night he has been anxiously awaiting since replacing Cory Clouston as head coach back on July 18.
  • Wheat Kings 'concerned' by ticket sales

    The impending NHL lockout could result in a big boost in attendance for WHL clubs. But Brandon Wheat Kings owner/general manager Kelly McCrimmon doesn’t want to have to count on that to balance the books this season.
  • Pre-season performance paramount for Wheat King rookies

    They have survived training camp, but for the 17 rookie players still with the Brandon Wheat Kings, this could be the most important 10 days of their young careers. The Wheat Kings began a stretch of four pre-season games over 10 days last night in Regina — Game 2 is tonight at Westman Place — with pre-season performances crucial to clinching roster spots.
  • Training camp questions abound for Wheat Kings

    As the Brandon Wheat Kings open main camp today, there are more questions than answers at this point. So let’s start with what we can be fairly certain about.
  • Olympic dream within reach for Brandon rugby star

    Like most of us, Brandon’s Amanda Thornborough tuned in this month to watch the sports spectacle that is the Summer Olympic Games. Unlike most of us, she actually has a chance to compete in them one day.
  • Calder Brandon's Olympic connection

    This is David Calder’s story of Olympic glory and a heartwarming chapter about his return to Brandon where it all began. When Calder competes in men’s pairs rowing in his fourth Summer Olympic Games next week in London, he will have some proud members of a once-lost family cheering him on from southwestern Manitoba.

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