What will be a very special season for the Regina Pats starts Friday night in Brandon.
The team begins play in its 100th season knowing they will be one of four teams to compete for the Memorial Cup having been named the host team for Canada’s junior hockey championship last February.
The Pats start the season as the number one ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League, but Head Coach/General Manager John Paddock acknowledges his team is not like the one that fell two victories short of a WHL title last season after a team record 52 wins in the regular season. That being said, Paddock still feels he has a team that can once again compete for an Eastern Conference and league crown.
“Jeff DeWit has had a good camp, there’s a reason why we traded for Matt Bradley in the off-season, Tyler Brown is probably one of the top 5 goalies in the league,” Paddock said. “We have people who will be relied on and will have to lead the team until some of our guys return.”
Regina does begin the season without three key weapons offensively. Sam Steel is still in the camp of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, Jake Leschyshyn is still in the camp of the Vegas Golden Knights as he continues to rehab a knee injury suffered late last season and Nick Henry is rehabbing after undergoing shoulder surgery in the off-season.
Friday’s game from Brandon can be heard on 620 CKRM —your official radio home of the Pats–starting at 6:30 with Phil Andrews with Saturday’s game starting at 7.