View Full Version : Pats have eye on second...

02-23-2006, 12:50 PM
From www.reginapats.com

Pats have eye on second

Greg Harder, The Leader-Post
Published: Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Regina Pats have one eye on the WHL playoffs and another on the Saskatoon Blades.

Regina is currently six points behind Saskatoon in a battle for second place in the East Division. If the postseason was to begin today, Regina and Saskatoon would meet in the first round -- with the Blades claiming home-ice advantage by virtue of a higher finish in the standings.

The Pats hope to change that.

"Our goal is to catch Saskatoon and get that home-ice advantage going into the playoffs," offered veteran forward Jordan Fuder, whose team plays host to the Calgary Hitmen on Friday night. "It's huge when you start off a series at home. You can maybe get two wins and get an early jump on the other team."

Regina also has two games in hand on the Blades, who failed to increase their lead on Wednesday night when they were upset 4-1 by the visiting Swift Current Broncos.

Saskatoon has gone a disappointing 6-8 in its past 14 games despite adding seven new players at the WHL trade deadline. Regina is hoping to put some pressure on the underachieving Blades -- and hopefully drop them to third place in the process.

"It's a really big thing," noted rookie defenceman Nick Ross. "Every day we come in and look at the standings to see where they're at and see if they won."

The Pats and Blades meet for the final time in the regular season on March 3 at the Brandt Centre. The next night, Regina wraps up a five-game homestand against the first-place Moose Jaw Warriors before hitting the road for eight straight games to conclude the regular season.

If the Pats hope to overtake Saskatoon, they would ideally like to do it before the road trip.

"That's what we want to do," noted blueliner Craig Schira. "Second place, that's what we're shooting for.

"We know at the end of the year we have eight games on the road. Right now we're just trying to figure out what we have to do to capitalize on these ones at home. Then we can start focusing on what we have to do to win on the road and get on track that way."

Regina got a little help from the Broncos on Wednesday thanks in large part to a hat-trick performance by Levi Nelson. Ned Lukacevic had the other goal for Swift Current (18-30-5-8), which outshot Saskatoon 43-30, including 28-6 in the second period.

"We got our asses kicked," Blades head coach Lorne Molleken told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.

Justin McCrae replied for the Blades (35-24-1-1). Broncos goalie Kyle Moir stopped 29 of 30 shots while Anton Khudobin made 39 saves in a losing cause.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, Dustin Boyd notched a hat trick as the Warriors increased their lead over Saskatoon to 12 points with a 4-1 win over the Prince Albert Raiders. Blair Jones also scored for Moose Jaw (38-15-5-3), which got three assists from Kenndal McArdle.

Justin Palazzo replied for the last-place Raiders (21-29-1-9).

02-25-2006, 05:11 PM
I say we will be WHL Champs

02-25-2006, 05:52 PM
I say we will be WHL Champs
Well, that's a bold prediction. Maybe these guys can actually get past the first round in the playoffs though. When's the last time that happened?? I don't know that they have the playoff experience to get too far but you never really know. I'd give it a year or two.

02-25-2006, 06:21 PM
I say we will be WHL Champs

I dont know about that, its possible but dont hold your breath

if your drawing this conclusion from last nights 4-0 win over the hitmen then you have not seen the pats on the road. If can learn to win on the road then i would say we can at least pass the first round :thumb:

Fight Guy
02-26-2006, 02:23 PM
We can win in S'toon...so we shouldn't have to much trouble making it to the second round.