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Celebrating 100 Years: Eighth Decade, 1987-1996

 

The Regina Pats Hockey Club is excited to celebrate its 100th Anniversary Season in 2017-18. Over each of the 10 months from August to May, the club will feature every decade of Pats hockey. Up next, Decade eight from 1987 to 1996.

The 1987-88 Season

One year without a WHL team, a group of Lethbridge community people purchased the Calgary Wranglers franchise, moved the club south, and renamed it the Hurricanes.

The Pup Line was formed. Mike Sillinger, Jamie Heward and Frank Kovacs formed the Pats’ legendary line.

The Pats won 39 games and finished in 5th place in the Eastern division, setting up a battle with the Swift Current Broncos in the Eastern Quarter Final.

The Broncos scored twice in a matter of 12 seconds to break a 4-4 tie in the third period and went on to win the first game 8-4 at the Centennial Civic Arena in Swift Current. The Pats gave the Broncos an early 3-0 lead and had to fight back only to lose game two 5-4 at the Exhibition Stadium. Craig Endean (the WHL all-time leading scorer at the time), erupted for four goals and 2 assists in a 9-7 Pats win at Swift Current. It was Endean’s first WHL playoff win in his five-year WHL career. The Pats heavily outshot the Broncos 45-25, but Sheldon Kennedy’s overtime goal sealed the Pats fate, as the Broncos took game four 4-3. The Broncos won the best of five series 3 games to 1.

The 1988-89 Season

The New Westminster Bruins franchise was moved to Kennewick, Washington to become the Tri-City Americans. The Saskatoon Blades moved to Saskatchewan Place.

Pats’ legend Dennis Sobchuk becomes the Pats head coach and on November 17 was named the teams’ GM and assistant coach Bernie Lynch took over head coaching duties.

The Pats won 23 games, finishing last in the Eastern division and out of the playoffs.

The 1989-90 Season

The Pats hired Brad Tippett on as Head Coach.

The Pats finished in third place with 75 points.

Troy Mick’s overtime goal helped the Pats beat the Swift Current Broncos 4-3 in game one of the Eastern Division Quarterfinal. The game was played at the Exhibition Stadium as the Regina Horse Show took over the Agridome. The Swift Current club rebounded in game two thrashing the Pats 7-2 before a sell-out crowd in Swift Current. Game three saw the Pats score four goals in the final five minutes as the Pats pelted the Bronco netminder with 56 shots as the Pats won the contest 7-3. Mike Sillinger led the way with a four-goal performance. Frank Kovacs was the hero in game four as he scored the game winner with less than five minutes left in the third period to give the Pats the 4-3 win. Pats win the best of five series 3 games to 1.

The Pats victory set up an Eastern Division semifinal against the Prince Albert Raiders. Mike Sillinger’s two goals, including the winner helped the Pats win game one 5-3 at the Communiplex. Mike Sillinger was again the hero in game two as he scored twice and added two helpers in the Pats 7-3 victory. The Pats gave up four unanswered goals in a 4-2 game three loss. In game four the Pats had two 2-goal leads and blew it as the Raiders won 6-5 in overtime. The Raiders won their third straight as they picked up a 6-4 win in game five. Frank Kovacs scored twice in less than 30 seconds to force overtime in game six and Troy Mick scored the winner with less than 2 minutes left in the first overtime giving the Pats the 4-3 win and tying the series at 3. The Raiders powerplay struck for 3 goals and held the Pats powerplay in check as the Raiders finished off the series with a 6-2 win. Raiders win the best of seven series 4 games to 3.

The 1990-91 Season

The Pats won 37 games and finished in third with 77 points.

The Pats played the Raiders in the Eastern quarterfinal. Two goals in a span of 16 seconds gave the Pats a 4-3 victory in game one before a stunned crowd at the Communiplex in Prince Albert. Jeff Shantz got the deciding goal. Frank Kovacs sniped in overtime as the Pats took game two by a 4-3 score, it was Kovacs’ second of the contest. Kovacs had four overtime goals in the regular season. Mike Sillinger recorded six points (3G/3A) as the Pats swept the Raiders from the playoffs with a 6-2 win at the Agridome. Kovacs chipped in with two goals and three assists. Pats win the best of five series 3 games to 0.

Up next in the Eastern semifinal were the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Pats had a 4-1 lead at one time in the game, but the Tigers stormed back to win game one 5-4. Mike Sillinger and Louis Dumont scored for the Pats but the Tigers cruised to a 7-2 win in game two. In game three the Pats did everything but score on Tigers goalie Chris Osgood who recorded the shutout. The Pats did their best to stave off elimination rallying with a 7-2 win as Frank Kovacs scored two in the Pats game four victory. The Tigers proved too strong for the Pats as they folded up in game five as Jason Miller scored 4 times as the Tigers destroyed the Pats 8-3. Tigers win the best of seven series 4 games to 1.

The 1991-92 Season

The Tacoma Rockets became the newest entry into the WHL. The Brodsky family purchased the Victoria Cougars.

The Pats won 31 games and finished 7th in the Eastern division. The Pats Most Valuable Player and Leading Scorer was Pats all-time games played leader Frank Kovacs.

The Pats failed to make the playoffs.

The 1992-93 Season

The Red Deer Rebels were the newest entry in the WHL and played in the Western Division.

The Pats were celebrating their 75th Anniversary.

The Pats finished one game under 500 at 35-36-1 and in 4th place in the Eastern Division.

The Pats hosted the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the Eastern quarterfinal. Ivan Vologjaninov’s overtime goal at 2:08 gave the Hurricanes a 4-3 victory over the Pats at the Agridome before a small crowd of 2,704 fans in game one. The Pats edged the Hurricanes in game two 5-4 with only 2,545 people at the Agridome. The Pats held multiple goal leads in both of the first two games only to have the Hurricanes tie the contests. The Pats were down 6-4 in game three but rallied to win the game 7-6. Pats’ rookie Jeff Friesen led the attack with 2 goals and 4 assists. The Pats capped off the series win with a 2-1 double overtime win on a goal by Trevor Hanas. Karry Biette sent the game into the overtime with a goal 6 seconds left in the third. Pats win the best of five series 3 games to 1.

The Pats played the Blades in the Eastern semifinal. The Pats were forced to play their first two games at Saskatoon due to an Amway convention being held in Regina. The Pats trailed game one 4-3 only to bounce the Blades 6-3. Louis Dumont scored to tie the game and Russ Gronick scored the game winner. The Pats almost rallied to win game two but the Blades held on to win 3-2.Grayden Reid scored the game winner for the Pats in game three as the Pats went on to a 4-1 win. Brandon Coates led the way with 2 goals. The Pats trailed game four 5-4 at the end of the second only to score four unanswered tin an 8-5 Pats win. The Pats finished off the Blades in Saskatoon as Russ Gronick scored the winner in the middle frame in a 4-3 win. Pats win the best of seven series 4 games to 1.

In the Eastern final the Pats faced the powerhouse Swift Current Broncos. Swift Current scored twice while shorthanded and never looked back as the Broncos took game one 7-2. The Pats took a 2-0 lead in game two only to have the Broncos erupt for 5 unanswered goals as the Broncos won 5-2. With game three tied at two, the Broncos scored 4 goals in five minutes handing the Pats an 8-3 loss. The Pats tied game four late only to have the Broncos win in overtime 7-6 as Trent McCleary scored the winning goal. Broncos win the best of seven series 4 games to 0.

The 1993-94 Season

Pats Assistant Coach Al Dumba took over coaching duties from Coach-Manager Bill Hicke who stayed on as manager.

In the final Eastern Division standings there was only a five-point difference between the 3rd place Lethbridge Hurricanes and 7th place Pats.

The Pats played the Brandon Wheat Kings in the first round of the playoffs. Brandon opened up the series with a game one 3-2 win at the Keystone Centre. Game two saw the Wheat Kings win 6-2 sending the series back to Regina. Jeff Petruic scored the game winner on a goal mouth scramble for the Pats in a 4-3 game three victory. Once the game ended there was a 15-minute brawl that saw the Wheat Kings receive 114 of the 184 penalty minutes handed out during the incident. Darren Ritchie (3G/2A) led the Wheat Kings attack in game four as the Brandon club skated to an 8-3 beat down of the Pats finishing off the series. Wheat Kings win the best of five 3 games to 1.

The 1994-95 Season

Norm Johnston was named the Pats head coach. The Victoria Cougars were sold, and the club moved from the island to Prince George.

The Pats finished seventh in the nine team Eastern Division with 55 points.

The Pats faced the Prince Albert Raiders in the first round. Game one was played in Prince Albert in front of the lowest attendance of their season (1,726) as the hometown Raiders beat the Pats 6-4. Game two had the Raiders outshoot the Pats by a 4-to-1 margin, 45-11, as the Raiders barely snuck by the pats 4-3 to take a two-game lead heading back to Regina. The Pats lost starting goalie Chad Mercier to an injury, had to rely on Tim Winters in game three in Regina. The Raiders directed 45 shots toward the Pats’ goal in a 9-6 Raider win in front of a sparse Agridome crowd of 2,381. Game four drew a paltry 1,680 at the Agridome as the Raiders completed the sweep in a 5-2 Raider win. Raiders win the best of seven series 4 games to 0.

The 1995-96 Season

The Tacoma Rockets move to Kelowna keeping the name Rockets. Calgary gets their junior hockey franchise back. The team is known as the Hitmen as Bret “Hitman” Hart is one of the owners.

The Pats are purchased by Russ Parker and the Parker family.

Russ’ son Brent ran the hockey/business side of things as the General Manager and Rich Preston was named Head Coach.

The WHL switched to three divisions and the Pats finished third in the Eastern division.

In the Eastern quarterfinal the Pats faced the Lethbridge Hurricanes. In game one the Hurricanes had a 3-1 lead only to have the Pats storm back and take the game 5-3 as Boyd Kane scored the winner. Game two was settled in quadruple overtime as Josh Holden tipped a Derek Morris point shot past David Brumby giving the Pats a 3-2 win. It was the longest game in WHL history and in Pats history. The Winning goal came at 2:46 of the FOURTH overtime. The teams played 62:46 of hockey. The TSN televised game ended at 1:29 AM Friday morning. Rhett Gordon led the Pats attack with a hat trick in game three as the Pats downed the Hurricanes 6-5. The Pats completed the sweep winning game four 5-3 as Rhett Gordon scored twice in the game. Pats win the best of seven series 4 games to 0

In the Eastern semifinal the Pats played the highly favoured Prince Albert Raiders. The Pats upset the Raiders 5-4 in game one at Prince Albert. Russ Hewson scored the winner. The Pats took game two in Prince Albert as well by a 3-1 score. Chad Mercier made 31 saves in the victory. The Pats took a loss in game three by a score of 5-2 as the Raiders forwards were just too much for the Pats to handle. In game four the Pats rallied to win 5-3 as Curtis Tipler led the charge with 2 goals. In game five Pats’ goaltender Chad Mercier was having a strong game was ran over by Raiders Garnet Jacobson. Mercier left the game with the Pats leading 2-1. The Pats lost the contest 8-5. Game six saw the Pats fall 5-0 as the Raiders tied the series up at 3. Mercier had a strong game despite the injury but was pulled in favour of Aaron Mori. The Pats bowed out to the Raiders 5-1 in game seven. The wounded Pats just didn’t have anything left as the Raiders took the series in seven. Raiders win the best of seven series 4 games to 3.

The 1996-97 Season

The Pats won 42 games and finished 3rd in the Eastern division finishing behind the Wheat Kings and Broncos in the standings.

The Pats faced the Red Deer Rebels in the first round of the playoffs. Two giveaways in the first period gave the Rebels a 2-0 lead and built upon that taking a 5-2 lead early in the third period. The Pats scored twice in the third period, but the Rebels sealed the deal with an empty netter in a 6-4 game one win for the Rebels at the Centrium. Lars Pettersen tied the game in the third period, but Greg Schmidt scored early in overtime to give the hometown Rebels a 5-4 win in game two. The Rebels downed the Pats 6-2 in game three at the Agridome, taking a 3-0 series lead as they scored three unanswered goals in the third period. The hometown Pats avoided elimination taking game four 5-1, scoring four powerplay goals sending the series back to Red Deer. The Pats were just no match for the Rebels in game five as the Rebels cruised to a 5-1 win taking the series in five games. Rebels win the best of seven series 4 games to 1.

 COACHES
1987-88: Doug Sauter

1988-89: Dennis Sobchuk then Bernie Lynch

1989-90: Brad Tippett

1990-91: Brad Tippett

1991-92: Brad Tippett

1992-93: Brad Tippett then Bill Hicke

1993-94: Bill Hicke and Al Dumba

1994-95: Norm Johnston

1995-96: Rich Preston

1996-97: Rich Preston

CAPTAIN’S

1987-88: Mark Janssens

1988-89: Gary Dickie

1989-90: Jim Mathieson

1990-91: Mike Sillinger

1991-92: Frank Kovacs

1992-93: Jason Smith

1993-94: Karry Biette

1994-95: Dion Zukiwsky

1995-96: Dion Zukiwsky

1996-97: Josh Holden to Gerad Adams

REGULAR SEASON STATS

GP G-A-PTS
Leading Scorers:
1987-88: Craig Endean 69GP 50-86-136

1988-89: Mike Sillinger 72GP 53-78-131

1989-90: Mike Sillinger 70GP 57-72-129

1990-91: Mike Sillinger 57GP 50-66-116

1991-92: Frank Kovacs 69GP 46-45-91

1992-93: Louis Dumont 72GP 62-59-121

1993-94: Jeff Friesen 66GP 51-67-118

1994-95: Jeff Petruic 71GP 46-33-79 and Rhett Gordon 71GP 36-43-79

1995-96: Josh Holden 70GP 57-55-112

1996-97: Josh Holden 58GP 49-49-98

Defenceman Leaders

1987-88: Brad Miller 61GP 9-34-43

1988-89: Kevin Haller 72GP 10-31-41

1989-90: Terry Hollinger 70GP 14-43-57

1990-91: Jamie Heward 71GP 23-61-84

1991-92: Derek Eberle 72GP 12-45-59

1992-93: Jason Smith 64GP 14-52-66

1993-94: Nathan Dempsey 56GP 14-36-50 (David Wilkie had 77 but only 48 with the Pats)

1994-95: Perry Johnson 72GP 6-33-39

1995-96: Dion Zukiwsky 67GP 18-36-54

1996-97: Derek Morris 67GP 18-57-75

PIM Leaders

1987-88: Cregg Nicol 218 (Scott Daniels ended with 240 but only 83 with the Pats)

1988-89: Scott Daniels 241

1989-90: Scott Daniels 171

1990-91: Kelly Chotowetz 150

1991-92: Frank Kovacs 274

1992-93: Jason Smith 175

1993-94: Jeff Helperl 254

1994-95: Jeromie Kufflick 162

1995-96: Gerad Adams 252

1996-97: Gerad Adams 227

Goalies

1987-88: Rod Houk 29-20-3, 3.91 GAA, 2 SO

1988-89: Rod Houk 20-30-6, 4.29 GAA, 0 SO

1989-90: Jason Glickman 25-19-2, 4.13 GAA, 0 SO

1990-91: Dusty Imoo 24-21-3, 4.17 GAA, 0 SO

1991-92: Mike Risdale 24-29-3, 3.95 GAA, 1 SO

1992-93: Mike Risdale 29-24-1, 3.95 GAA, 2SO

1993-94: Mike Walker 27-19-2, 4.19 GAA, 1 SO

1994-95: Chad Mercier 19-26-3, 3.94 GAA, 1 SO

1995-96: Chad Mercier 27-23-1, 3.57 GAA, 0 SO

1996-97: Andy Adams 28-14-3, 3.29 GAA, 2 SO

PLAYOFF TOTALS include the Memorial Cup playoffs and playoff statistics.

PLAYOFFS
Leading Scorers:
1987-88: Craig Endean 4GP 4-9-13

1988-89: Did not qualify for the playoffs.

1989-90: Mike Sillinger 11GP 12-10-22

1990-91: Mike Sillinger 8GP 6-9-15

1991-92: Did not qualify for the playoffs.

1992-93: Jeff Friesen 13GP 7-10-17

1993-94: Jeff Friesen 4GP 3-2-5 and David Wilkie 4GP 1-4-5

1994-95: Colin Foley 4GP 3-3-6

1995-96: Perry Johnson 11GP 1-13-14

1996-97: Josh Holden 5GP 3-2-5, Lars Pettersen 5GP 2-3-5 and Dmitri Nabokov 5GP 2-3-5

Defencemen Leaders

1987-88: Brad Miller 4GP 1-1-2

1988-89: Did not qualify for the playoffs.

1989-90: Kevin Haller 11GP 2-9-11

1990-91: Jamie Heward 8GP 2-9-11

1991-92: Did not qualify for the playoffs.

1992-93: Jason Smith 13GP 4-8-12

1993-94: David Wilkie 4GP 1-4-5

1994-95: Perry Johnson 4GP 1-3-4

1995-96: Perry Johnson 11GP 1-13-14

1996-97: Brad Stuart 5GP 0-4-4

PIM Leaders

1987-88: Gary Dickie 15

1988-89: Did not qualify for the playoffs.

1989-90: Cam McLellan 35

1990-91: Kelly Chotowetz 16

1991-92: Did not qualify for the playoffs.

1992-93: Jason Smith 39

1993-94: Dion Zukiwsky 17

1994-95: Jeromie Kufflick and Wade Strand 10

1995-96: Gerad Adams 40

1996-97: Boyd Kane 15

Goalies

1987-88: Rod Houk 1-3, 4.86 GAA, 0 SO

1988-89: Did not qualify for the playoffs.

1989-90: Jason Glickman 6-4, 3.67 GAA, 0 SO

1990-91: Dusty Imoo 4-4, 4.26 GAA, 0 SO

1991-92: Did not qualify for the playoffs.

1992-93: Mike Risdale 7-6, 4.22 GAA, 0 SO

1993-94: Mike Walker 1-3, 4.26 GAA, 0 SO

1994-95: Chad Mercier 0-2. 4.50 GAA, 0 SO

1995-96: Chad Mercier 7-3, 3.25 GAA, 0 SO

1996-97: Andy Adams 1-4, 4.19 GAA, 0 SO

Top 10 Scorers (not including playoffs)

 # PLAYER SEASON(S) GP G A PTS
1 Mike Sillinger 1987-91 266 178 241 419
2 Louis Dumont 1990-94 245 154 188 342
3 Frank Kovacs 1987-92 352 148 163 311
4 Karry Biette 1990-94 258 101 158 259
5 Josh Holden 1994-97 190 126 127 253
6 Jeff Friesen 1991-95 165 120 129 249
7 Rhett Gordon 1992-96 199 109 121 230
8 Jamie Heward 1987-91 263 78 150 228
9 Jeff Shantz 1989-93 206 84 125 209
10 Gary Dickie 1987-89 131 81 94 175

Top 10 Playoff Scorers

 # PLAYER SEASON(S) GP G A PTS
1 Mike Sillinger 1987-91 23 20 21 41
2 Frank Kovacs 1987-91 23 14 8 22
3 Jeff Friesen 1992-94 17 10 12 22
4 Perry Johnson 1993-97 24 2 17 19
5 Jeff Shantz 1990-93 21 4 14 18
6 Josh Holden 1994-97 20 10 8 18
7 Karry Biette 1990-94 20 8 10 18
8 Russ Hewson 1993-96 19 10 8 18
9 Rhett Gordon 1992-96 23 11 6 17
10 Troy Mick 1989-90 11 7 10 17

Top 10 Combined Scorers

 # PLAYER SEASON(S) GP G A PTS
1 Mike Sillinger 1987-91 289 198 262 460
2 Louis Dumont 1990-94 265 162 193 355
3 Frank Kovacs 1987-92 375 162 171 333
4 Karry Biette 1990-94 278 109 168 277
5 Josh Holden 1994-97 210 136 135 271
6 Jeff Friesen 1991-95 182 130 141 271
7 Rhett Gordon 1992-96 222 120 127 247
8 Jamie Heward 1987-91 282 82 161 243
9 Jeff Shantz 1989-93 227 88 139 227
10 Gary Dickie 1987-89 135 85 94 179

Year-by-year Standings:

Regular Season first/Playoffs Second

# SEASON LEAGUE GP W L T GF GA PCT. GP W L T GF GA PCT.
58 1987-88 WHL 72 39 29 4 342 286 0.569 4 1 3 0 20 24 0.250
59 1988-89 WHL 72 23 43 6 306 358 0.361
60 1989-90 WHL 72 34 31 7 332 329 0.521 11 6 5 0 46 47 0.545
61 1990-91 WHL 72 37 32 3 346 307 0.535 8 4 4 0 30 34 0.500
62 1991-92 WHL 72 31 36 5 300 298 0.465
63 1992-93 WHL 72 35 36 1 322 313 0.493 13 7 6 0 54 58 0.538
64 1993-94 WHL 72 34 36 2 308 341 0.486 4 1 3 0 11 20 0.250
65 1994-95 WHL 72 26 43 3 269 306 0.382 4 0 4 0 15 24 0.000
66 1995-96 WHL 72 37 33 2 316 284 0.528 11 7 4 0 45 48 0.636
67 1996-97 WHL 72 42 27 3 326 259 0.604 5 1 4 0 16 25 0.200
 
TOTAL 720 338 346 36 3161 3081 0.494 60 27 33 0 237 280 0.450

Regular Season:

Goals For 4.399

Goals Against 4.28

Playoffs:

Goals For 3.95

Goals Against 4.67
Courtesy Kevin Shaw, www.theblueliner.com

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