“I think that’s the way you have to go out if you go out. ” Pats reflect on season following first round exit against Blades


It has been a couple of days, but the sting of disappointment hasn’t subsided quite yet for the Regina Pats after their season ended on Monday night with a Game 7 loss to the Saskatoon Blades.

On Wednesday, the team said their final goodbyes, with some players preparing for new challenges that await them, including captain Connor Bedard. The 17-year-old will likely be selected as the number one pick in the upcoming NHL Draft this June and is expected to be playing somewhere in the NHL next season.

Bedard says his first seven-game playoff series is something that he will never forget.

“It’s probably the most fun hockey I ever played, every game seemed so close, obviously three overtime games, it was such a fun series, I’m sure to watch as well. ”

Just like in the regular season when he led the Western Hockey League in points (143) and goals (71) and finished tied for the most assists (72), Bedard led all players in scoring with 20 points (10G-10A) during the first round of the WHL playoffs.

Head Coach John Paddock pointed to the depth of the Blades roster as being one of the deciding factors in the series. He added the Pats were affected by the loss of forward Borya Valis who missed the entire series against the Blades.

One of the 20-year-old graduating players for Regina, Riley Ginnell was proud of the way the team battled against a tough opponent in Saskatoon.

“We showed up every game, that’s a good team, they won a lot of games for a reason, being the 6th seed in the series, a lot of people doubted us. ”

Defenceman Luke Bateman is another player who played his last game with Regina and felt that he left everything on the ice in the series against the Blades.

“I definitely did the most that I could’ve. But I’m not a point guy so I definitely got to lock it down in the d-zone.”

Ginnell took pride that the Pats battled to the end of Game 7, even if the result was not the one they wanted.

“I think that’s the way you have to go out if you go out. ”

Even with a hard-fought effort, Bedard says the final moments of the season were difficult.

“It was tough seeing all the guys and obviously you don’t want to lose, it hurts a lot.”

In his exit interview with Bedard, Paddock said the two did some reminiscing as well they discussed some upcoming events.

“He (Bedard) talked about the first time we met him and I, talked about draft day. ”

Paddock didn’t reveal what his plans with the Pats would be for next season but said he will be spending time doing some scouting over the leading up to the WHL Prospects and U.S. Priority Drafts. The U.S. Priority Draft is set for Wednesday, May 10. The Prospects Draft will take place the following day.

Bedard appreciated the encouragement he received during his time in the Queen City.

“Just overall, the community was so supportive of us and myself obviously, you know I’ve had so much fun these last three years here. ”

Reflecting on his junior hockey career, Bedard was happy to spend it with one team.

“I just love being here, love playing here, and I mean I didn’t want to leave. ”

The three 20-year-old graduating players for the Pats this season were Bateman, Ginnell and Tanner Brown.

Besides Bedard, the Pats are also expected to lose defenceman Stanislav Svozil to the professional ranks next season as Svozil is eligible to play in the American Hockey League.


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