Weekends at Westman Place will be a little less frequent for Brandon Wheat Kings fans this season.
The Western Hockey League released its 2011-12 schedule on Wednesday and the Wheat Kings will play 13 Friday night home games and 11 more on Saturdays. While that home schedule is heavily slanted to Brandon’s two best drawing nights, it’s actually the fewest number of combined Fridays and Saturdays since 2004-05 when the Wheat Kings played only 21 times on those days.
"We’re down from where we’ve been a little bit in past years with the Friday/Saturdays combined," said Wheat Kings owner/general manager Kelly McCrimmon, whose team played 28 times at home on Fridays or Saturdays last season, "but still a Friday/Saturday dominant schedule."
Remembrance Day, when the Wheat Kings will host their traditional game, falls on a Sunday, while seven games will be played on Wednesdays and another four on Tuesdays.
The Wheat Kings open their regular season on Friday, Sept. 21, when they host the Regina Pats before heading on the road to complete the home-and-home set one day later in the Queen City. Brandon’s regular season will wrap up with another home-and-home, visiting the Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday, March 15 and hosting them the next night.
Among other highlights:
<t-4>• The Wheat Kings face the defending champion Edmonton Oil Kings, who knocked Brandon out of last season’s playoffs, in a New Year’s Eve road game for the first of their four meetings. The Oil Kings make their first visit here on
Feb. 8, in the midst of a season-long seven-game homestand for the Wheat Kings.
•The club will head to British Columbia for its annual West Coast road trip from Oct. 16-24, playing seven times in 12 days including an Oct. 23 visit to Victoria for the Wheat Kings’ first visit to that city since its return to the WHL last season.
•The U.S. Division teams will come through Brandon this season, including a visit by Killarney’s Reid Gow and the Spokane Chiefs on Dec. 7.
•Brandon will visit the Prince Albert Raiders in their last game before the Christmas break on Dec. 16, returning to host the Moose Jaw Warriors on Dec. 28.
•The Wheat Kings face all of their East Division rivals eight times, with the exception of the Raiders, who they will meet six times.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 28, 2012