After a 72 game regular season that had its ups and downs, the Regina Pats are now hoping for a playoff run that sees them get two more wins than last year.
That playoff run begins in Swift Current on Friday night as the Pats take on the Broncos in Game 1 of a highly-anticipated first round best-of-seven matchup that is seen by many across the league as the most tantalizing of the first round series.
If Regina is to be successful, they will need 17 year old Max Paddock to continue playing the way he did in the final quarter of the season. While a decision has not been finalized as to who will start Game 1, all indications point to Paddock seeing he went 13-2-1 in his last 16 appearances with a goals against average of 2.33 and a save percentage of .920.
Paddock is looking forward to the opportunity being presented to him saying his patience now appears to be paying off.
“All the work that I have put in this year has been for this moment,” Paddock explained. “I’ve had a quiet confidence all season, and while it has been a year with a lot of positives and negatives, I have just stuck with it knowing my chance would come.”
Head Coach John Paddock says the one thing that has impressed him is how cool he has been, and how he has embraced the chance he has been given.
“His poise is what impresses me. Nothing seems to rattle him” Paddock said. “We have two goalies who have played well since January 10th. Max and Ryan (Kubic) are ready to play.”
Regina only beat Swift Current once in the regular season, but that win was one week ago when a Nick Henry goal in overtime gave the Pats a 3-2 win.
It will be the third time the two teams have met in the playoffs since the 2014-15 season with Regina winning both of the previous series including last year when Swift Current jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but could not close the deal and lost in seven.
620 CKRM will have the opener for you starting with the pre-game show at 6:35 followed by Phil Andrews with the play-by-play at 7.
The other Eastern Conference series will also begin Friday with Prince Albert at Moose Jaw, Brandon at Medicine Hat and Red Deer in Lethbridge.