Most of the details have yet to be officially released, but we do know Saskatchewan’s five WHL teams along with Brandon and Winnipeg, will play a 24 game season in Regina starting mid-March.
All the games will be held without fans at the Brandt Centre, with practices going at Co-operators Centre, all in a bubble format.
Regina Pats 20-year-old forward and Regina native Carson Denomie, was on the SporsCage Tuesday, and said for them it doesn’t mater how they play the game, it’s all about getting back on the ice.
“Yeah I think it’s just about being able to play, you know we’re only playing 24 games and the amount wasn’t even important for the league,” Denomie said. “I think it’s just a chance to showcase what you can do and an opportunity to continue our development and hopefully move on the the next level,” Denomie added.
Denomie said while he doesn’t know all the details yet, he believes the Pats and other teams will be staying at the University of Regina.
He knows not having long bus rides will be a bonus, but is not ruling out the mental challenge that a bubble format will bring, where it’s expected players will only be on the ice and then back at their living quarters the rest of the time.
“As far as I know right now we’re going to be housed in the U of R dorms,” Denomie said. “That’s where we’re going to be living, really we’re only going to be there or at the rink,” the veteran of four WHL seasons said.
Games are set to begin March 12th.
Denomie feels the team is ready to take a big step forward on the ice, as the clubs rebuild continues after going to the WHL final in 2017, then hosting the Memorial Cup in 2018 where they lost in the final to the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
“I think we’re going to be a really solid team this year,” he said. “We have a lot of depth up front and we have some really good mobile and puck moving defensemen, we’re definitely going to be a lot better than teams of the past couple of years and I think it’ll be exciting.”
In 63 games last season before play was halted, the Pats finished 21-34-6-2, good enough for fifth spot in the East Division, ahead of only Moose Jaw.