PREVIEW: Pats meet Thunderbirds for first time since 2017 WHL Championship Series


The Regina Pats (13-9-2-0) are in Seattle on Wednesday night to take on the Thunderbirds (10-9-1-1). Puck drop is at 9:00 p.m. Regina time at ShoWare Center. The Pats are coming off a 2-1 win in Everett on Sunday to improve to 1-1-0-0 on their U.S. Division road swing. The Thunderbirds were last in action on Saturday when they blanked Everett 2-0. Tonight is the first and only meeting between the two clubs in 2017-18. The game can be heard starting at 8:35 with Bennett Dunlop Ford Pats Hockey on 620 CKRM.

Regular Season Comparison Regina Seattle
Record 13-9-2-0 10-9-1-1
Goals For/Against 78/76 (+2) 64/75 (-11)
Powerplay 25.7% (27/105) 23.5% (20/85)
Penalty Kill 72.4% (71/98) 82.6% (76/92)
Team Save Percentage 0.896 0.890
Leading Scorer Matt Bradley (16-11-27) Austin Strand (10-14-24)
Leading Scorer (Defence) Josh Mahura (7-13-20) Austin Strand (10-14-24)
Scoring by Period (1st-2nd-3rd-OT) 26-28-22-2 16-26-21-0

The Lead Up: Brown makes 38 saves as Pats beat Everett Sunday
The Regina Pats picked up a 2-1 win in Everett on Sunday night against the Silvertips. Regina picked up the game’s first goal when Robbie Holmes put home a rebound for his fifth of the year and it was 1-0 after one. After a scoreless second, Jake Leschyshyn tipped a point shot past Carter Hart for his fifth and the Pats lead was 2-0. The Everett powerplay got one back at 12:10, but Regina held on from there for the 2-1 victory. Tyler Brown made 38 saves in the win, while Josh Mahura led the offence with a two assist night. The Pats outshot Everett 50-39, the powerplay was oh for seven and the penalty kill five for six.

Head to Head
The Pats won the lone regular season meeting of 2016-17 against the Thunderbirds, 6-3 at the Brandt Centre. Dawson Leedahl led Regina with a three point night while Sam Steel scored a goal and had an assist. The T-Birds got a three point game from Ethan Bear and Sami Moilanen had one goal and one assist. The two teams went on to win the Eastern and Western Conference Championships and meet in the WHL Championship Series, which Seattle won in six games. The Pats enter Wednesday, 10 points back of Moose Jaw for first in the East Division. The Thunderbords meanwhile are fourth in the U.S. Division, also 10 points back of the first place Portland Winterhawks.

Nijhoff Returns
The Pats have called up 16-year-old forward Logan Nijhoff this week. The Comox, B.C. product played in the Pats 2-1 win over Everett on Sunday and remains with the club. Nijhoff was an eighth round pick in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, was called-up from the OHA Midget Red Prep Team in Penticton where he has 10 goals and 17 points in 13 games so far this year. Nijhoff has played in four regular season games and two playoff games for the Pats so far in his career.

Holmes Contributing
Pats forward Robbie Holmes has been finding some consistent offence over the last 11 games of the season. The 18-year-old was held pointless in his first 10 games but since then has scored five goals and has eight points in his last 11 contests. Those five goals are a new career high and he is a point away from matching his previous high of nine points in a season, set in 2016-17. The Sherwood Park, Alberta product was an 11th round pick in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.

Upcoming Schedule
Pats @ Tri-City – Friday November 24, 9 p.m. – Toyota Center (CKRM)
Pats @ Spokane – Saturday November 25, 9 p.m. – Spokane Arena (CKRM)
Pats @ Red Deer – Friday December 1, 8 p.m. – Enmax Centrium (CKRM)



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