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Shew's Views

About James Shewaga:

James Shewaga is the Brandon Sun’s sports editor.

  • Time for Sundher to break out for Wheat Kings

    Observations and notations while wondering which team is having the tougher January, the Brandon Wheat Kings or the Winnipeg Jets? (Trick question: Both teams were 2-6 heading into Thursday night’s Jets game).
  • McCrimmon gambles on this season's success

    I don’t know if Kelly McCrimmon is a big fan of blackjack, poker or playing the slots, but he sure has bet heavily on his Brandon Wheat Kings this season. The Wheat Kings owner/ general manager has gone against the odds and gambled a sizeable chunk of the future of his club to land a pair of signed 19-year-old NHL prospects in new centreman Kevin Sundher and previously acquired goaltender Brandon Anderson, as well as 20-year-old power forward Darian Dziurzynski — the best player moved at this season’s Western Hockey League overage deadline.
  • Will McCrimmon double down, stand pat or fold?

    Seven weeks ago, the Brandon Wheat Kings briefly moved into first place overall in the Western Hockey League. Today, the Wheat Kings have slipped all the way to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
  • Westman girls ready to take on the world

    Five players in three world championship tournaments. Yes indeed, the Brandon Wheat Kings and the Westman region are well-represented in holiday hockey extravaganzas this year. Wheat King fans have been able to watch 19-year-old captain Mark Stone of Winnipeg light up the world juniors for Team Canada in Alberta, while also trying to catch a glimpse of 18-year-old rookie import Alessio Bertaggia suiting up for Switzerland. Meanwhile, 16-year-old rookie Wheat Kings defenceman Ayrton Nikkel of Kelowna, B.C., is currently playing for Team Pacific at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Ontario.
  • A healthy roster tops Wheat Kings' wish list

    With the jolly fat guy in the red suit getting ready for his big day, it’s time to check out some Christmas wish lists. We’ll start with the Brandon Wheat Kings, who entered the Christmas break with a 20-14-1-1 record after an up-and-down first half marked by some significant injuries that led to inconsistent lineups and some inconsistent efforts.
  • Stone keeps Wheat Kings' junior team tradition alive

    Great news for the Brandon Wheat Kings to be represented on the Canadian junior team for the fourth straight season. While playing without captain and league scoring leader Mark Stone won’t help the Wheat Kings in the WHL standings, it’s a great reward for a classy player. It also certainly doesn’t hurt the Wheat Kings’ reputation in hockey circles to have Stone follow in the footsteps of Brayden Schenn (2011 and 2010) and Keith Aulie (2009) by wearing Canada’s colours ...
  • Brandon duo shines on international stage

    Brandon Wheat Kings Mark Stone and Michael Ferland could soon be basking in the sports spotlight with Canada’s world junior hockey team, which opens its selection camp this weekend in Calgary. But there are a couple of young women from Brandon who deserve to share the headlines this week.
  • Thornborough latest local to wear Canada's colours

    Brandon’s Amanda Thornborough has travelled halfway around the world this week to the Middle East to become the latest Westman athlete to proudly wear Canada’s colours. The 21-year-old member of the Brandon Barbarians and CIS silver medallist St. FX University X-Women was asked to suit up for the national women’s development rugby team competing for Canada at the prestigious international sevens tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • Scouting staff secret to Wheaties' success

    The first-round picks always get the headlines on draft day, but the Brandon Wheat Kings are again showing that it’s what you do later in the draft — and after the draft — that can make or break a WHL club. A quick look at the league leaders shows just how important the work of the Wheat Kings’ scouting staff — led by Al Macpherson — has been for general manager Kelly McCrimmon.
  • Wheat King observations and BUFA consternation

    It’s hard to argue with the success of the Brandon Wheat Kings so far this season. New head coach Cory Clouston has guided the club to a solid 14-6-1-1 record — one point out of first place overall in the WHL — while GM Kelly McCrimmon has bolstered his lineup by adding toughness and talent in acquiring power forward Darian Dziurzynski. The Wheat Kings lead the league in offence (93 goals), boast the best power play in the WHL (scoring at a 32.6 per cent clip) and are slowly improving their penalty killing (75.6 per cent) which has moved up from 20th to 15th in the league.
  • BUFA strikes out with Bobcats

    This is supposed to be one of the biggest weekends of the year for Brandon University Bobcats athletics. A rematch of last season’s national men’s volleyball final between the Bobcats and the Trinity Western Spartans, right here at the BU gym.
  • Tough times for Bobcats athletics and NHL fans

    The longest strike in Brandon University history has already had a negative effect on Bobcat athletics. While the Bobcats men’s and women’s volleyball teams are both off to 0-3 starts to the season while playing without head coaches Russ Paddock and Lee Carter, BU’s women’s basketball team took a huge hit when top American recruit Kate Helgeson quit the team and left school to transfer to Minot State. She cited the strike as the primary reason for her departure.
  • League punishment fails to make proper statement

    The Manitoba Junior Hockey League had an opportunity — most would say an obligation — to send a public message this week that hazing rituals will absolutely not be tolerated anymore. Their actions, however, came up woefully short.
  • McCrimmon's moves bolster Brandon's chances

    Kelly McCrimmon’s prowess as one of the Western Hockey League’s top deal-makers has once again paid immediate dividends. The Brandon Wheat Kings general manager addressed two key areas of concern with Sunday night’s major moves to acquire 20-year-old winger Darian Dziurzynski and 19-year-old goaltender Brandon Anderson.
  • BU faculty strike puts pressure on student-athletes

    While the workload for any student can be demanding, for many student-athletes, it can be overwhelming trying to juggle studies and daily practice schedules. Having your professors go on strike — for the second time in only three years — makes it even worse for Brandon University Bobcats student-athletes.
  • WHL policy fails concussion test

    Five weeks ago, Brodie Melnychuk suffered a broken wrist in Brandon Wheat Kings training camp. On Saturday night, Wheat Kings defenceman Rene Hunter had to be helped off the ice after getting his bell rung on an unpenalized check to the head. (For the record, WHL vice-president Richard Doerksen did look at that play on video and determined that it was not illegal since the primary point of contact was to the body and because the hit came from the front, not from the side or behind).
  • Wheat King, Bobcat Hall of Famers well deserving

    They are an integral part of the proud history of the Brandon Wheat Kings and the Brandon University Bobcats men’s basketball team. And Saturday in Winnipeg, when Don Dietrich, Bob Cornell, Glen Lawson and Jayson More of the Wheat Kings organization and former Bobcat all-Canadians Whitney Dabney and Keith Vassell are enshrined, it will be a richly deserved honour.
  • Shew's Views: Clouston era begins

    The Cory Clouston era of the Brandon Wheat Kings is officially underway. So what can we expect?
  • Wheat Kings have plenty of work to do

    The Brandon Wheat Kings’ 0-3 pre-season performance heading into tonight’s finale hasn’t exactly bolstered season ticket sales and may have raised a few eyebrows among the club’s most ardent supporters. However, it shouldn’t be a huge cause for concern — at least not at this point. With players away at NHL camps and young prospects getting extended looks, WHL pre-season records rarely are a true measure of a team.
  • Tragedy hits hockey world once again

    The hockey world was already reeling from the shocking summer deaths of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak when tragedy struck once again Wednesday. This time, the devastating blow hit painfully close to home. In the worst disaster in hockey history, 43 lives were lost — including former Brandon Wheat Kings great Brad McCrimmon — when a Russian jet carrying the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team to their Kontinental Hockey League season-opener in Minsk crashed shortly after takeoff. It was a catastrophic loss — former NHLers from 10 countries including McCrimmon, the club’s head coach and the greatest defenceman in Wheat Kings history.
  • Clouston looking for rookies to make their mark

    It’s been a crash course of cramming for Cory Clouston for the past two days as the Brandon Wheat Kings’ new head coach gets familiar with the prospects on the WHL club’s 50-player protected list. Today, the real fun begins as main camp opens and competition for a precious few open roster spots heats up. Main camp wraps up in two days with Sunday’s intrasquad game, with the Wheat Kings likely to cut down to 30 players or less that evening, magnifying the importance of every shift for every rookie candidate.
  • Successful Murray always makes time for the kids

    He has coached at the highest levels of hockey, from the NHL to world championships and even the Olympics over a remarkable 35-year coaching career that has earned him millions of dollars and plenty of accolades. He was financially set for life even before signing a lucrative five-year contract in July to coach Western Michigan University and probably should be enjoying his last precious few days of summer at his place in Clear Lake before embarking on his first season of NCAA hockey.
  • Bevy of Brandon boys battling for NHL jobs

    It was a memorable night in Neepawa on Thursday as Shane Hnidy brought the Stanley Cup back home. And it might not be too long before one of the NHL's budding crop of Wheat City natives gets a chance to bring it back to Brandon one day.
  • Hnidy hoping to bring Cup to Neepawa next week

    There have been plenty of highlights during Shane Hnidy's 11-year NHL career. From his first NHL game to his first NHL goal and finally his first Stanley Cup this spring with the Boston Bruins. Next week, Hnidy hopes to share that Cup experience with his supporters in Neepawa where it all began.
  • Coach Clouston could use another scorer

    New coach Cory Clouston has four weeks to familiarize himself with the Brandon Wheat Kings roster before training camp. The question is, will general manager Kelly McCrimmon do any tinkering with that depth chart before then?

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