After all was said and done with the Western Hockey League trade deadline, the Regina Pats made a flurry of moves designed to make themselves more competitive for the playoffs and Memorial Cup which they will host in May.
One of the moves saw Regina send away 20 year old Tyler Brown as he went to the Saskatoon Blades with another goalie coming back—one expected to lead the team into the playoffs. That is 19 year old Ryan Kubic.
He isn’t the only new player in town as Regina added several players to its lineup since the Christmas break, but he may be one with the most pressure on his shoulders which is something he is OK with.
“For them to choose me to be the guy to hold them through games, it’s a real honour.” Kubic said at practice Thursday one day after making his debut in a 4-3 overtime loss to Edmonton arriving at the Brandt Centre just a few hours before face-off.
With Brown gone, it leaves the Pats with Kubic and Max Paddock as their goaltenders for the playoffs. While Kubic has no playoff experience, Pats head coach and GM John Paddock was quick to remind people about 16 year old Carl Stankowski and the job he did in helping Seattle win the Ed Chynoweth Cup over the Pats last season.
The Pats expect to have Sam Steel and many of those acquired at the trade deadline in action Friday night as they welcome Medicine Hat to the Brandt Centre in a 7 o’clock start. It will be Steel’s first game for the team since leaving for the Canadian World Junior team in December.
While Steel is expected in the lineup, defenceman Libor Hajek will not be. After playing Wednesday against Edmonton, he has gone back to his native Czech Republic for a few days after playing for his country in Buffalo at the World Juniors.