Pats looking for points in Alberta before the Christmas break

The Regina Pats will take one final trip through Alberta during the Christmas holidays, beginning on Friday night in Lethbridge against the Hurricanes.

That will be followed by a stop in Red Deer tomorrow night, before the Pats final game before the break on Sunday in Edmonton against the Oil Kings.

Pats lining up for the national anthem. Photo: Keith Hershmiller Photography

Regina is coming off a split last weekend on home ice, picking up a victory on Friday against the Kamloops Blazers and then a loss against Kelowna on Saturday.

Pats Head Coach Brad Herauf joined Michael Ball on the Sportscage on the eve of the team’s departure to Alberta.

With the first half of the season winding down, Herauf believes the Pats are solidifying their identity of being a tough opponent.

“I think when we’re playing that type of hockey, we’re a real tough team to beat and I think we’re entertaining team to come watch.”

One of the players who provided plenty of entertainment at the Brandt Centre last weekend was defenceman Parker Berge. Last weekend, the 20-year-old player scored six points (3G-3A), with a hat-trick against Kelowna.

“One of those 20-year-olds that has been getting every year,” said Herauf, who noted the defenceman has provided leadership for the team this season.

Heading into tonight’s game, the Hurricanes are the team the Pats are chasing down for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Lethbridge currently has a six-point edge over Regina. The Eastern Conference standings remain a logjam heading into Christmas, with the third place Brandon Wheat Kings and Hurricanes only separated by five points.

With the holidays just around the corner, Herauf hopes the Pats can keep their focus on the ice for the weekend before the team departs on their holiday. He mentioned that their last games before the break in Alberta provide ample opportunity for the player’s families to watch the games in person.

“Hopefully for us, just business, get these games out of the way here, make sure we take care of the points of the game, we can eat turkey and all of those things next week.”

The Pats will have a ten-day break after Sunday’s game in Edmonton. They will return for a pair of road games, in Brandon (Dec.27) and Moose Jaw (Dec.29), before they return to the Brandt Centre on Saturday, December 30, against the Wheat Kings.

Coverage for tonight’s game in Lethbridge on 620 CKRM begins at 7:35. Dante De Caria will have the call at 8:00.

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