Friday, September 23, 2011
Brandon Wheat Kings 4 Moose Jaw Warriors 1
The first regular season game in Mosaic Place turned out to be a disappointing one for the home side. Unfortunately, I was not at the game but I did watch it on TV. The new facility looked like an ideal venue for a junior hockey team. There is no doubt that the intimidating atmosphere in the "Crushed Can" will be nearly impossible to duplicate in the new rink. The old rink had incredible energy and an absolutely electric atmosphere, especially in the Regina-Moose Jaw rivalry. As far as the game yesterday, I just wanted to make a few general observations. It is early in the season, but it looked to me like both of these teams will be very good this year as the pace of the game was quite frenetic. For the Wheat Kings, the first line tandem of Mark Stone and Alessio Bertaggia appeared lethal. The combination of Stone's size and playmaking ability with Bertaggia's speed and finish around the net will be difficult for opposing defences to contain. Another Wheat King that caught my attention was Ryan Pulock. If this young defenseman keeps progressing he will be a priority prospect for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. With regards to the Warriors, the marquee prospect is defenceman Morgan Reilly. I will not provide a detailed prospect report on Morgan until I see him playin person. At first glance, Morgan is a talented and mobile defenceman who will attract alot of attention from scouts this year. Last nights game was a great start for another intriguing season of WHL hockey.