The Regina Pats are four wins away from their first WHL title since 1980. The only team now standing in their way are the Seattle Thunderbirds.
On Friday night, the two teams will start their best of 7 series for the Ed Chynoweth Cup at what will be a sold-out Brandt Centre as the Pats make their first appearance in the league final since a seven game defeat at the hands of the Kamloops Junior Oilers in 1984.
Pats Head Coach and General Manager John Paddock has been in many championship series through his time as a player and a coach, but as he embarks on his first appearance in the WHL final, he says the excitement is certainly there and his lengthy career has not diminished that excitement any.
“This is what we play for, this is what we coach for,” Paddock said Thursday at the Brandt Centre. “In August, this is where we wanted to be. We wanted to be in the championship with the opportunity to go further.”
Captain Adam Brooks says there is a lot of excitement in the room as the puck gets ready to drop and his squad is ready for the puck to drop.
Many feel the T-Birds may have some experience because they were in the final last year losing to Brandon, but Brooks isn’t buying that completely.
“Experience helps, and they have a lot of guys who went through this last year,” Brooks said. “They know the little things that need to be done to win, but we have a lot of talent and experience too. We’re hearing that we are underdogs and we are using that as motivation. It’s a surprise to hear, but at the end of the day, the team that wants it more will be the team to win.”
Game 1 goes at what will be a sold-out Brandt Centre. 620 CKRM will have the game starting at 7.
The winner of the series heads to Windsor, Ontario as the WHL representative at the Memorial Cup later this month.