PREVIEW: Pats Host Hurricanes to Start Eastern Conference Championship Series

The Regina Pats (8-3) kick off the Eastern Conference Championship Series tonight at home to the Lethbridge Hurricanes (8-6). Puck drop at the Brandt Centre is at 7 p.m. The Pats advanced to the Championship Series with a game seven win over the Swift Current Broncos, 5-1 on Monday. The Hurricanes also won a game seven in Medicine Hat over the Tigers on Tuesday, 5-4 in overtime. The game can be heard on 620 CKRM with Bennett Dunlop Ford Pats Hockey beginning at 6:35 p.m. It will also be broadcast on the WHL on Shaw and Access 7.

Playoffs Comparison Regina Lethbridge
Record 8-3 8-6
Goals For/Against 45/21 (+24) 54/46 (+8)
Powerplay 29.3% (12/41) 23.3% (14/60)
Penalty Kill 80.0% (40/50) 71.4% (40/56)
Team Save Percentage 0.936 0.913
Leading Scorer Sam Steel (7-12-19) Tyler Wong (11-11-22)
Leading Scorer (Defence) Connor Hobbs (3-13-16) Brennan Menell (4-9-13)
Scoring by Period (1st-2nd-3rd-OT) 12-17-16-0 22-14-17-1


Regular Season Comparison Regina Lethbridge
Record 52-12-7-1 44-21-4-3
Goals For/Against 353/211 (+142) 280/253 (+27)
Powerplay 31.5% (92/292) 23.9% (76/318)
Penalty Kill 81.4% (288/354) 78.6% (220/280)
Team Save Percentage 0.903 0.898
Leading Scorer Sam Steel (50-81-131) Tyler Wong (51-58-109)
Leading Scorer (Defence) Connor Hobbs (31-54-85) Brennan Menell (12-59-71)
Scoring by Period (1st-2nd-3rd-OT) 106-121-119-7 104-86-79-9

Lead Up: Pats Win Game 7 Over Swift Current
The Regina Pats advanced to the Eastern Conference Championship series for the first time since 1993 with a 5-1 win in game seven over the Swift Current Broncos on Monday. The Pats scored twice in the opening five minutes thanks to Sam Steel and Filip Ahl. Regina added two more in the second and one in the third in the game seven victory. Connor Hobbs led the offence with three assists while Sam Steel and Austin Wagner scored twice. Filip Ahl had a goal and an assist and Tyler Brown made 23 saves in goal. The Pats outshot the Broncos 43-24, the powerplay was oh for five and the penalty kill five for six.

Head to Head
The Pats went 2-1-1-0 against the Hurricanes during the 2016/17 regular season, winning once at home and once on the road. Regina scored 18 goals in the four games to the Hurricanes 12 and outshot Lethbridge 176-118. The Pats were one for 11 on the powerplay and killed 23 of 26 shorthanded situations. Sam Steel led Regina with five goals and seven points in the season series. Adam Brooks and Filip Ahl each had six points while Chase Harrison had five. Tyler Brown was 2-1-1 with a 2.73 GAA and a .906 SV%. The Hurricanes were led by Zak Zborosky and Matt Alfaro who in four games with Kootenay and one with the Hurricanes, put up nine and seven points respectively. Tyler Wong had six points in four games against the Pats while Goaltender Stuart Skinner was 2-2-0-0 with a 4.64 GAA and a .897 SV%.

Conference Final
The Regina Pats are into the Eastern Conference Championship for the first time since the 1993 playoffs. 24 years ago the Pats took on Swift Current in the third round but lost in four games to the eventual WHL champion Broncos. The Hurricanes meanwhile are into the Conference Championship for the first time since 2008 when they lost in the WHL Championship series.

Brown WHL Goalie of the Week
The Western Hockey League announced Monday that Pats goaltender Tyler Brown has been named the WHL Goaltender of the Week. The 19-year-old Brown went 2-2 with a 2.48 goals-against average, .930 save percentage and 159 saves over 290 minutes played as the Regina Pats erased a 3-1 series deficit to force a deciding Game 7 in their second-round series with the Swift Current Broncos. Brown went on to make 23 saves, allowing just one goal in that game seven.

Upcoming Schedule
Game 2, Pats Vs Lethbridge – Saturday April 22, 7 p.m. – Brandt Centre (CKRM)
Game 3, Pats @ Lethbridge – Tuesday April 25, 7 p.m. – Enmax Centre (CKRM)
Game 4, Pats @ Lethbridge – Wednesday April 26, 7 p.m. – Enmax Centre (CKRM)




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