It was garbage bag day for the Regina Pats on Thursday after being eliminated from the WHL playoffs on Tuesday in game 7 against the Red Deer Rebels. The club while disappointed with the exit from the post season, are optimistic for the future of the organization.
Head Coach and GM John Paddock says the loss is hard to get over. “The tough part about sports or hockey, when it ends it’s like bang, like you fall off a cliff sort of ending. I think there was a lot of the goals and expectations met within the organization which is really important. I think the playoffs is really, this last series is really strong in our minds, it’s a little bit hard to get over because we believed we were going to beat them. It’s not like Brandon last year where the guys played their hearts out the last three games to win a game and lose two in overtime, really gave them a tough go but it was still different. Us as coaches and players believed we were going to win the series and it’s hard that way.”
Paddock went on to say next year will be exciting but the plan in place is not just about being good for the next two years but for sustained success. “We are a little bit under assumption here when we talk about the next two years. Like there is a plan in place but really the plan as Dave (Struch) and I have talked about, is to have a championship program and have a chance top go for a championship team within that. Kootenay made the playoffs 16 straight years, that’s more what the organization wants to be about, Medicine Hat went to the second round 9 straight years. Those are a lot of good things and within that you have your chances to go for something. We are really excited about next year, when you only lose your overage players with the possibility of Adam Brooks and that would be a huge huge hole. But we are really excited about it but it’s about building up the program and at the proper times going for something special.”
The club said goodbye to it’s three graduating players for the final time on Thursday. Captain Colby Williams and forwards Aaron Macklin and Cole Sanford played the final games of their WHL careers on Tuesday.