The Kings are in the middle of a playoff run and are heading into back-to-back games this weekend against the Okotoks Bisons.
This week's Strathmore Motor Products King of the Week is goaltender Brett Willan who was a big component of the game one win on Tuesday night.
The playoff run for the team is in full swing for the Kings and Willan can’t wait to get back on the ice for game two on Friday night, “I honestly feel that we've been doing pretty good we've been standing strong, we had a couple of times where we had a little hiccup in like the second period and stuff like that but came back and so far we've been winning games and that's what matters.”
Maintaining the momentum is a key for the team heading into the weekend especially, Willan explained, going back to Okotoks on Friday night, “I'm sure Okotoks is going to come out really strong there because they were definitely upset after that game. We definitely have to start moving forward and keep our pace moving and not let them get into this.”
A goalie is not a position a lot of players chose to take on, Willan said that his dad had a hand in him taking on this role, “One summer before the start of a season when I was younger my dad, who had always been a goalie, just kind of said hey do you wanna start becoming goalie, and I thought sure why not and I really haven't changed my mind since then.”
Being a goalie can be a lonely position especially if the game isn't going that well, however, Willan explained that the teammates that surround him and the King's other goalie Landen Brassard are always there to back them up on the ice if things aren’t going their way.
And they both try to do the same for them, noting that the team has become a tight unit this season and it shows in their play on the ice and the connections they have made off the ice.
Being one of the four veterans on the team Willan is looking to continue playing hockey next year, "I'm just trying to find somewhere to go, I would love to stay with the Wheat Kings, but that's just not on the agenda. I kind of wish our season had happened last year so I could have gotten a full four years in.”
For Willan, seeing the team become more comfortable together over the season is one of the successes that stands out for him, this season he has enjoyed the chemistry that team has on the ice and the interaction with all of his teammates and coaching staff off the ice.
One of the biggest highlights for Willan was the first game of the playoffs at home against High River and seeing the stands packed with fans, for Willan and the whole team he says the energy that the fans bring is almost like having an extra player on the ice.
“Our first game was against High River, that was by far the most people I've ever seen at that rink, and it was just it was a blast like it was probably the best time I've ever had, it was unreal each goal that we scored the crowd was just insane.”
Willan said that the fans that come out this Saturday night for Game three against the Bisons will be a huge asset to the team.
The King's head to Okotoks on Friday night for game two and are back in Strathmore on Saturday night for game three with an 8 p.m start time, and game four on Tuesday, February 22nd with an 8:15 p.m. start time, tickets can be purchased ahead of time at wheatlandkings/eventbrite.ca.