Glennie leading Wheat Kings into playoffs
Centre's been hot since Brayden Schenn trade
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/03/2011 (4461 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Centre Scott Glennie is now in the Brandon Wheat Kings’ history book and the entire 2010-2011 team is joining him.
Qualifying for the Western Hockey League playoffs for a club record 11th straight season, the Wheat Kings have been led by Glennie, who has become one of just 11 players in team history to score more than 300 points in his Wheat Kings’ career.
“Kelly (head coach McCrimmon) has given me a lot of opportunities to get there and it’s been a long four years for me, when you put it in that context, but it was fun and it’s a good accomplishment,” said Glennie, a 20-year-old centre, who along with the rest of the Wheat Kings practised Monday at the MTS Centre to try out their new home for the first round of the playoffs. The annual Royal Manitoba Winter Fair is being held in Westman Place at the Keystone Centre in Brandon.
“It’s been a pretty fun season for us so far so we’ll see what happens here,” said Glennie, a first-round pick of the Dallas Stars in the 2009 NHL draft.
Glennie is enjoying the best season of his four-year Wheat Kings career, scoring a career-high 35 goals and 91 points. He is the first Wheat Kings player to reach 300 points since former captain Marty Murray (1998-’99 season).
When the Wheat Kings traded Canadian national junior team player Brayden Schenn in January, Glennie caught fire.
“It was almost like a passing of the torch. Scottie really flourished afterward, realizing this was his last opportunity in junior to make his mark and we’ve really seen solid play out of him,” said McCrimmon. “He really finished strong. He finished ninth in the league in scoring and we’ve really seen a lot of maturity in his game.”
The Wheaties have five rookie defencemen and 11 of their 22 players are in their first WHL seasons. That comes with a disclaimer as one of those rookies is Winnipeg’s David Toews, 20, who played two years at the University of North Dakota.
McCrimmon said this season started out as “a transition year” after last year’s Memorial Cup team, which meant a high turnover of experienced players and an influx of new faces.
It’s been quite a ride this season for the Wheat Kings.
In the first 40 regular-season games, Brandon had losing skids of 11 games and nine games. At one point the team was 12 games below .500. But there’s nothing more motivating than a late-season turnaround, which is what the Wheaties put together to finish with a winning record of 32-31-1-8. The team ended up with seven 20-goal scorers.
“We were 18-6-1 to finish in our last 25 games and we were able to move up from 11th place in the conference to sixth,” McCrimmon said. “Our team has really improved in the second half but saying that, we know we’re going to have our hands full playing a Medicine Hat team that has 100 points. We’re going to have a real tough opponent but the guys are excited about the challenge.”
There’s 10 players from Manitoba on the Wheat Kings, including Winnipeggers Glennie, right-winger Mark Stone and centres Toews and Paul Ciarelli.
“It’s exciting for me and the Winnipeg guys especially. We’d like to be in our hometown barn but coming here is going to be a great experience for everyone involved,” said Stone, 18, who has been the team’s brightest scoring star this season with 37 goals and 106 points. He’s the first Wheat Kings player to score more than 100 points since Eric Fehr in 2005.
“Manitoba fans are going to be behind us hopefully and I know I’ve got a lot of friends and family that are excited to see me play here so I just can’t wait.”