PREVIEW: Pats kick off final weekend before Christmas break against Saskatoon


The Regina Pats (16-15-2-0) kick off their final weekend before the Christmas break on Friday at home to the Saskatoon Blades (13-16-2-1). Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. at the Brandt Centre. The Pats are coming off a 3-0 loss at home to the Kamloops Blazers on Wednesday while the Blades won 5-3 at home to the Lethbridge Hurricanes in their last game Tuesday night. Tonight is the third of eight meetings between the two clubs in 2017-18, The Pats hold a 1-1-0-0 record so far in the season series. The game can be heard starting at 6:35 with Bennett Dunlop Ford Pats Hockey on 620 CKRM.

Regular Season Comparison Regina Saskatoon
Record 16-15-2-0 13-16-2-1
Goals For/Against 105/117 (-12) 100/133 (-33)
Powerplay 24.1% (33/137) 19.5% (23/118)
Penalty Kill 70.9% (100/141) 72.5% (103/142)
Team Save Percentage 0.884 0.874
Leading Scorer Matt Bradley (20-18-38) Cameron Hebig (26-20-46)
Leading Scorer (Defence) Josh Mahura (11-18-29) Libor Hajek (8-16-24)
Scoring by Period (1st-2nd-3rd-OT) 37-34-32-2 24-26-39-1

The Lead Up: Pats blanked at home Wednesday
The Regina Pats fell 3-0 at the Brandt Centre on Wednesday night at the hands of the Kamloops Blazers. Kamloops opened the scoring just 17 seconds in when Garrett Pilon rifled home his 17th of the year. Five minutes later, Luc Smith scored on the powerplay and it was 2-0 Blazers after the opening period. In the second, Nolan Kneen put home a rebound for his third of the season and the Pats found themselves down 3-0 heading to the third. Max Paddock would stop all 18 shots he faced in the final frame as part of a 38 save performance, but Regina could not solve Dylan Ferguson who turned aside 42 pucks for the shutout in the Kamloops net. The Pats outshot the Blazers 42-41, the powerplay was oh for six and the penalty kill went five for six.

Head to Head
Tonight is the third meeting of the year between Regina and Saskatoon, both of the previous matchups came at the Brandt Centre with the Pats winning one and losing the other. Matt Bradley leads the Pats with three goals and three assists in the two games while Emil Oksanen has two goals and two assists and Sam Steel and Jake Leschyshyn have each put up three points. The Blades are led by Cameron Hebig and Braylon Shmyr who both have put up seven points against the Pats. Brad Goethals is next with three points in the season series. The Pats enter Friday, five points ahead of Saskatoon in the East Division standings but the Blades do hold a game in hand.

PK Bouncing Back
After a tough U.S. Division road trip for the Pats penalty kill, the club has bounced back in the six games since returning to Canadian soil. Regina has killed 20 of 25 shorthanded situations since their return for a success rate of 80.0 per cent. The Pats have not given up more than one powerplay goal in any of their last six contests. Thanks to their recent success, the penalty kill has jumped from 69.0 percent to 70.9 per cent for the season. Regina has scored four shorthanded goals, from four different players this year, which is good for seventh in the Western Hockey League.

Upcoming Schedule
Pats Vs Lethbridge – Saturday December 16, 7 p.m. – Brandt Centre (CKRM)
Pats @ Saskatoon – Sunday Deceber 17, 4 p.m. – Sasktel Centre (CKRM)
Pats @ Brandon – Wednesday December 27, 7 p.m. – Westman Place (CKRM)


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