It looks like the Brandon Wheat Kings will have a patchwork lineup again for their road game against the Swift Current Broncos tonight, but that’s something they’re getting used to.
Rookie forward Jack Palmer has joined the injury list for the Wheat Kings, who have played their last four games without captain Ryan Pulock and have been missing alternate captains Tyrel Seaman and Jens Meilleur for four and six games, respectively.
Pulock, suffering from an undisclosed upper-body injury, skated for the second straight day on Friday, but head coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk said the team is still letting the recovery process run its course.
“He skated again with a non-contact jersey on and it’s something that we’ll have to continue to evaluate with the doctors and continue to go from there,” said Gylywoychuk, who will guide the Wheat Kings into their third straight game against the Broncos tonight (6:30, CKLQ) before they visit the Medicine Hat Tigers tomorrow.
Palmer looks likely to miss tonight’s game with an upper-body injury suffered on Wednesday against the Broncos. Gylywoychuk said the team was waiting for the forward to be examined by a doctor before determining how long he would be out.
To make matters worse, veteran defencemen Eric Roy and Rene Hunter both missed Friday’s practice, although Gylywoychuk said neither absence was anything to worry about, with Roy resting “bumps and bruises” before the back-to-back games, while Hunter was ill.
While battling the injuries, the Wheat Kings have dropped four games in a row and eight of their past nine to fall into 11th place in the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Conference at 10-15-2-1 and Gylywoychuk said the club is waiting for players to seize their expanded opportunities.
“With injures in the game of hockey comes opportunities for your other players,” he said. “Some of our players have had that opportunity the last little while here. … These opportunities are new to some of the guys so our leaders have gotta lead and our older guys have gotta lead by example. We need to find some positive things that happen for us and gain some confidence and go from there.”
ONE-TIMERS: The Wheat Kings’ annual Teddy Bear and Toque Toss is scheduled for their Friday, Dec. 7 game against the Spokane Chiefs. Fans are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped stuffed animal or a new toque to Westman Place to throw onto the ice after the Wheat Kings score their first goal.