The Brandon Wheat Kings are getting their captain back.
After missing six games due to injuries caused by taking a puck to the face, Ryan Pulock has been cleared for contact and is expected back in the Wheat Kings lineup this weekend.
"That’s probably some of the most exciting news I’ve had in a while was finding out today that I’m good to go," Pulock said after Wednesday’s practice at Westman Place.
The Wheat Kings host the Spokane Chiefs on Friday and the Red Deer Rebels on Saturday (7:30 both nights, Westman Place) to open a four-game homestand. They lost all six of the games Pulock missed to fall to 10-16-2-2, with their lone point coming from a 2-1 shootout loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers on Sunday.
Second on the team with nine goals and 25 points in 24 games, Pulock has practised for the past week and believes that he should be able to hit the ice at close to full speed.
"I have stayed skating pretty much the whole time since I’ve been hurt and don’t really feel like I’ve lost anything," said Pulock, who leads Brandon with a plus/minus of +14. "Definitely, practice is a little bit different than a game, but I’m looking forward to Friday."
Pulock has been looking at the game a little bit differently since the injury, and not just because of the full visor he’s been sporting. He said watching from the stands has allowed him to get a new perspective on the team’s performance.
"I think the biggest thing right now is consistency and work ethic," he said. "From watching up top it seems like we’ll bring work ethic to part of our games and we’ll stick with teams or we’ll even dominate teams at times. And then you can just tell when we let off and it just all blows away and I think we’ve got to work on keeping that consistent."
"I don’t think we’re far off," he continued. "I think it’s a lot of little mistakes that are really hurting us and little patches of games that have really killed us. And if we clear those little patches out, I think we’ll give ourself a chance to win every night."
ONE-TIMERS: RW Jens Meilleur, who has missed the past eight games with a lower-body injury, did not skate on Wednesday after practising fully on Tuesday.