Sundher regaining form

The Edmonton Sun chimes in on Brandon center Kevin Sundher, who looks to be turning the corner at the right time as the Wheat Kings battle Mark Pysyk and the WHL regular season champion Edmonton Oil Kings in the second round of the playoffs.

The six-foot Sundher did most of his damage as a Victoria Royal this season, racking up 21 goals and 32 assists in 33 games en route to signing a three-year contract with the Sabres on December 15th. But despite leading all Sabres prospects with 75 points, the Surrey, B.C. native has struggled to achieve consistency since he was dealt to the Wheaties a month later.

Kevin Sundher knows the pressure he’s under.

For most of his Western Hockey League career with the Chilliwack Bruins/Victoria Royals franchise, the 2010 Buffalo Sabres third-round pick was able to fly under the radar somewhat, while putting up impressive offensive numbers.

But when you’re the biggest name to move at this year’s trade deadline — the pressure gets magnified.

Especially when you’re expected to take some of the offensive pressure off of Mark Stone, who finished second in WHL scoring with 123 points in 66 games and starred for Team Canada at the 2012 World Junior.

His time with the Brandon Wheat Kings has been a roller-coaster ride after being acqured Jan. 9 for defenceman Jordan Fransoo, forward Dakota Conroy and a 2012 first-round bantam pick.

After averaging over a point a game the past two years, Sundher registered just 11 points in 18 games with the Wheat Kings and he missed 13 of the final 14 regular-season games, battling concussion symptoms.

In the Wheat Kings five-game series victory over the Calgary Hitmen in round one, Sundher posted just three points, as Brandon did a good job spreading the offence around.

“I came here with a pretty hefty price tag, and there’s a lot of expectations,” said Sundher.
“I haven’t produced the way I’ve wanted to ... it’s been up and down and a real battle for me, but I feel like I’m starting to get back to form.”

The Wheat Kings and Oil Kings will play game #2 of their conference semi-final Saturday night at Rexall Place. Sundher will look to again provide a spark on Brandon's top two lines while Pysyk will log major minutes on the OK's top pair with Keegan Lowe.
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