What the puck? – The forgotten team
Article: Autumn McDowell – Sports Editor
While everyone in Regina has been going nuts in Riderville, the city’s other favourite team, the Regina Pats, have quietly been climbing the charts.
The Regina Pats have been booted from their home barn for nearly a month to make room for Agibition and Grey Cup festivities. During that time the team went on their Eastern road swing to compete against Eastern Canadian teams, and then the notorious U.S. teams as well.
In past years, this trip has nearly cost them their season. Spending so much time away from home ice while facing stiff competition has often been difficult on the young squad, but not this year.
While all eyes were on the Riders, the Pats have shocked everyone who was paying attention and skated to a 5-3-0-0 record while on the road, despite facing some of the top teams in the entire league. That will do just fine.
Thanks to the strong performance on the road trip, head coach Malcolm Cameron and the boys have skated to a 14-12 record, tallying 28-points and sole possession of seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
That means the Pats are well within the playoff race, and instead of normally having to make up ground for the next month due to a shaky road trip, the Pats can play defence for a little while.
The Pats big three have been back at it once again this year as veterans Morgan Klimchuk, Dyson Stevenson, and Chandler Stephenson pave the way for the Pats. The big three currently lead the team in scoring, while newcomer Boston Leier is hot on their trail with 24 points in 25 games.
The newest acquisition for the Pats has made himself right at home, and has made a dramatic impact on the squad, especially in th goals department.
Though he has been tagged as more than just a scorer, the 20-year-old currently has 13 goals and 9 assists in 21 games. If that isn’t the stats of a true blood scorer, I don’t know what is.
However, the Pats won’t have much breathing room as the second test of the season is just around the corner. Another downward swoop for the Pats in the past has been December, as the World Juniors has notoriously taken the star players from the squad, causing the remaining players to falter in the process.
But this year might be a little different than usual. Even though the Pats have sent more players to the World Juniors than any other junior hockey franchise, none of their players were invited to the summer development camp this year.
While they do have plenty of players worthy of invitation, including Klimchuk and Stephenson, who were both on team WHL at the Subway Super Series last night, the Pats and their fans will have to wait until the selection camp roster is officially released before they can determine the kind of affect it will have on the playoff hopes.
Last season may have been one to forget, but if the Pats continue on the path they’re on right now, this year could be one to remember.