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Winnipeg, Manitoba -- The Brandon Wheat Kings are celebrating their 40th Anniversary in the Western Hockey League and their rich history will be told this Sunday night as CTV presents Manitoba Moments.

"The Brandon Wheat Kings: 40 Years in the Making" will be seen Sunday, December 17th at 6:30 p.m. and will be narrated by Brandon's own Leah Hextall.

The Wheat Kings are one of the most storied junior hockey franchises in the country. The organization is steep in tradition and has had moments of glory and defeat. In spite of producing a superior on ice product, which has produced several National Hockey League calibre players, the WHL's Wheat Kings are still without junior hockey's greatest prize - the Memorial Cup. As CTV looks back at the 40-year history of the franchise, it is clear that the hockey club's belief in team and tradition has been their formula for success.

In addition to conversations with several former players, Leah talks with former owner and the architect of major junior hockey in Brandon, Bob Cornell, as well as the Wheat Kings' current owner, general manager and head coach Kelly McCrimmon.

A cousin to former Wheat King great Ron Hextall, Leah has participated in every sport under the sun for as long as she can remember. Her love for athletics grew naturally from a family history rooted deeply in sports. In fact, she still spends time on the court, the diamond and of course the links. Leah's parents in Brandon gave her some great advice once. 'Whatever you do, do something you love!' The solution? A career in sports broadcasting.

After graduating from Vincent Massey in Brandon, Leah attended school in Vancouver and after completing her education in broadcast journalism, she returned to Brandon where she landed her first job in broadcasting, at CKX Television. After working three years in Brandon, she jumped at the chance to join the CTV Sports team in Winnipeg.

On the ice, the 2006-07 Wheat Kings kick off a weekend home and home series with the visiting Regina Pats Friday night at the Keystone Centre. Brandon enters the final weekend of play before its 10-day Christmas break sitting atop the Eastern Division with a 17-13-2-3 record, good for 39 points and a two point lead on the second place Swift Current Broncos.

Friday night is Shoppers Mall Teddy Bear Toss Night at the Keystone. Fans attending the game are encouraged to bring a stuffed animal and when the Wheat Kings score their first goal, they can litter the ice. All stuffed animals collected will be donated to Brandon Christmas Cheer. As well, longtime volunteer Gladden Smith will be recognized as December's Manitoba Blue Cross Performer of the Month.

Tickets to Friday's game are on sale now at the Keystone Centre box office, by calling 726-3555 or online at ticketmaster.ca
 
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