John Quenneville and the Brandon Wheat Kings open the WHL Final against Kelowna on Friday. (Photo: Getty Images)
The wait is finally over for John Quenneville
and the Brandon Wheat Kings.
One week after closing out the Calgary Hitmen in the Eastern Conference Final, Quenneville and the Wheat Kings are set to open the WHL Final against the Kelowna Rockets on Friday.
We just want to start playing hockey and we want to compete. - John Quenneville
Brandon will host the first two games of the 2-3-2 best-of-seven series. The Wheat Kings and Rockets were the top two teams during the WHL regular season with 114 and 112 points, respectively.
"There’s so much buzz around town and so much talk about the games, it just magnifies everything,” Quenneville told the Brandon Sun. "I think all the players are so excited to play and get started. We just want to start playing hockey and we want to compete."
Quenneville leads the Wheat Kings in playoff scoring with 19 points (10g-9a) in 15 games. He recorded 10 points in the conference final, matching a single-game career high with five points (2g-3a) in the series opener.
More than the club’s top postseason point getter, Quenneville has delivered in the clutch. He notched the double-overtime goal that ousted the Edmonton Oil Kings in the opening round, then set up his brother Peter for the OT marker that eliminated the Regina Pats in the next round.
The Devils’ first-round pick, 30th overall, in 2014, Quenneville is hoping to lead Brandon to its first WHL title since 1996. The Wheat Kings have reached their first final since 2005, when they fell to Kelowna in five games.
Brandon has lost only three times during its run to the final, winning each of its first three series in five games.