It appears two of the Brandon Wheat Kings’ top scorers from last season are ready to pick up right where they left off.
Jayce Hawryluk, who led the WHL club with 64 points, and Tim McGauley, who was third with 60, both had three-point performances in Brandon’s intrasquad game on Sunday as they paced Team White to a 6-3 victory over Team Black at Westman Place to close out training camp. McGauley could have had a hat trick, but passed off what could have been an empty-net marker to Jesse Gabrielle, and finished the game with two goals and an assist.
It was the fourth Wheat King training camp for the 19-year-old centre, and he felt it was his best one yet.
"It was a real good camp, I thought, one of the best I’ve been to," McGauley said. "These guys we have coming up are really good players and I’m real excited for the season to start.
"I take a little bit more responsibility knowing you’re an older guy coming in, so you have to act as an older guy and show the young guys the ropes and play like you’ve been there before. I just try to lead by example out there. Coming back for my fourth year, it’s better because you have more confidence to play in these things."
Hawryluk, who had a goal and two helpers on Sunday, also feels he has to lead by example this season.
"I think you want to work 110 per cent whenever you’re playing," he said. "I don’t really have another gear, it’s just fifth gear all the way. I’m going as hard as I can all the time and I think you have to set an example for kids that are watching out here what it takes to play in this league."
McGauley got things going for White with a two-man advantage midway through the first period when he beat Black netminder Logan Thompson. Hawryluk followed up when he put a rebound from a bad angle into the net to give White a 2-0 lead. Hawryluk then set up Quintin Lisoway’s second-period marker and Eric Roy’s third-period goal that restored White’s two-goal edge with five minutes left in the game. McGauley also scored in the third before setting up Gabrielle’s empty-netter.
Jordan Papirny stopped all 16 shots he faced in net for White in the first half of the game, while Josh Dechaine made 10 saves on 13 shots in the second half. Thompson stopped 22 of 24 shots for Black before giving way to Evan Robert, who made 13 saves.
Colton Waltz, who scored the overtime winner in Saturday night’s 10-9 scrimmage, Kord Pankewicz and Brett Kitt replied for Black, while Ryan Pilon and Brayden Billaney both had a pair of helpers.
For Billaney, a 16-year-old from Boissevain, picking up a pair of assists was his final memory of Wheat Kings’ camp. He was reassigned on Sunday night, but was happy with his camp overall.
"It’s good (to get two assists), especially since I’m going into Winkler here and getting excited, especially coming into the season," said Billaney, who hopes to stick with the Manitoba Junior Hockey League club this winter. "It’s a big confidence booster.
"I wasn’t expecting any more or less. This is where I wanted to be, nothing more or nothing less. Just get noticed for next year."
The Wheat Kings will open their pre-season schedule on Friday when they host the Regina Pats at 7:30 p.m.
GOALTENDERS (3) Ht. Wt. Age
r-Josh Dechaine 6-0 170 16
Jordan Papirny 6-1 170 18
r-Logan Thompson 6-3 172 17
DEFENCEMEN (10) Ht. Wt. Age
r-Kale Clague 6-0 194 16
Taylor Green 6-7 220 19
r-Mark Matsuba 6-0 187 17
Michael Mylchreest 6-3 200 19
Kord Pankewicz 5-11 205 18
Ryan Pilon 6-2 212 18
ri-Ivan Provorov 6-0 200 17
Eric Roy 6-3 208 20
r-Mark Taraschuk 6-0 192 17
Colton Waltz 6-1 198 19
FORWARDS (20) Ht. Wt. Age
i-Rihards Bukarts 5-9 192 19
r-Duncan Campbell 6-3 196 18
Tyler Coulter 6-0 214 18
Jesse Gabrielle 6-0 214 17
Jayce Hawryluk 5-10 197 18
r-Tanner Kaspick 6-0 193 16
Brett Kitt 6-1 201 18
r-Ty Lewis 5-10 176 16
Ryley Lindgren 5-11 194 18
Quintin Lisoway 5-10 195 19
r-Kirklan Lycar 6-0 180 17
x-Stelio Mattheos 6-2 175 15
r-Linden McCorrister 5-11 175 16
Tim McGauley 6-0 185 19
i-Richard Nejezchleb 6-3 208 20
r-Nolan Patrick 6-2 192 16
John Quenneville 6-1 205 18
Peter Quenneville 5-11 196 20
Braylon Shmyr 5-9 163 17
r-Dylan Thiessen 5-11 175 16
i-import; r-rookie; x-15-year-old ineligible to play full time in WHL this season.