Celebrating 100 Years: Seventh Decade, 1977-1986


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 seven from 1977 to 1986.

The 1977-78 Season

The Western Canada Hockey League shortened their name to the Western Hockey League on September 5, 1978 since three teams now were based in the United States.

The Calgary Centennials moved to Billings and were renamed the Bighorns. The Winnipeg Monarchs were moved to Calgary and were renamed the Wranglers. The Kamloops Chiefs moved to Seattle and became the Breakers.

The Pats played their first game at the Agridome Sunday October 2. The Moscow Selects played the WHL All-Stars Friday December 9. The Selects won the game 6-5.

The Pats finished third in the East with 63 points.

The Pats, Flin Flon Bombers and Brandon Wheat Kings played in a playoff round robin.

Game 1: The Pats and Wheat Kings met in game one of the round robin and the Pats were able to shut down Brandon’s top line in a 3-2 overtime win. Call-up Mike Blaisdell scored the winner at 10:49 of the first OT at the Keystone Centre. Brandon had only lost 2 games at home all season.

Game 2: The Wheat Kings scored four goals in less than 4 minutes in the third as the Pats fell to Brandon 9-8 in front of 5,300 fans at the Agridome. The big third period was the downfall for the Pats.

Game 3: The Pats all but gave up in the third period as the Flin Flon Bombers scored twice in the final frame and Pats no response in an 8-5 Bomber win at the Agridome.

Game 4: The Pats missed numerous scoring opportunities including multiple posts as the Pats lost to the Wheat Kings 5-1. Brandon took a 2-0 lead into the second period and never looked back.

Game 5: As their chances were beginning to look slim, the Pats went into Flin Flon needing a much-needed win, having not won at Flin Flon for the last two seasons, the Pats pulled out a 6-2 win. Greg Dumba was pivotal in the Pats net collecting the win.

Game 6: The Pats still desperate for wins were demolished by the Bombers in Flin Flon by the score of 9-3. The Bombers scored 2 shorthanded goals in the 2nd as they outscored the Pats 5-1 in the frame.

Game 7: Gerald Minor led the Pats to a 7-5 win over the Wheat Kings with six points (3G/3A). The Pats had the 4-3 lead going into the final frame and the teams exchanged goals until Erle Switzer scores an empty netter with 8 seconds left.

Game 8: Do or die for the Pats as they needed to win the final game of the round robin at the Agridome by 6 or more goals. The Pats did just that. The final buzzer sounded, and the scoreboard read: Pats 10 Bombers 4. Dirk Graham led the Pats with four goals on the night.

The tournament ended with all three teams tied with 4 wins and 4 losses. The league went to goal differential to decide the placing. Flin Flon was plus 3 (46F/43A), Regina was minus 1 (43F/44A) and Brandon minus 2 (40F/42A). The Pats edged the Wheat Kings by one goal, setting up the Eastern Division final between the Pats and Bombers.

The Bombers were a different team as they beat the Pats 7-3 at Flin Flon in game one. The Pats tried valiantly to rally back in game two but the Bombers offence was just too much as they beat the Pats 11-9 in game two. Paul Hogan scored three (also had three assists) and Dirk Graham also scored three times (also had two assists) for the Pats. Game three needed overtime as the Bombers downed the Pats 4-3 at the Agridome. The Bombers and Pats had players leave the bench in game four resulting in eight game misconducts as the Pats beat the Bombers 9-6 to keep their playoff hopes alive. Guy Bohmer of the Bombers played one shift and received two minors, two majors and a game misconduct and it hurt his club. The Pats season came to an end in game five as the Bombers downed the Pats 5-3 in the fifth game. Bombers win the best of seven series 4 games to 1.

The 1978-79 Season

The Pats hired Gregg Pilling as their new head coach. Pats’ Del Wilson becomes Executive Assistant of the WHL. The Flin Flon Bombers moved to Edmonton to become the Oil Kings.

The Pats had a rough go of things only winning 18 games and finishing last in the East Division. The Pats missed the playoffs.

The 1979-80 Season

The Great Falls Americans withdrew from the League after only 28 scheduled games (the franchise was moved to Spokane and named the Flyers for the 1980-81 season). The Western Division had only four teams.

The Pinder family from Saskatoon; Herb, Gerry, Dick, Herb Sr., and Ross had controlling interest of Pats franchise, Wil Klein, Ross Sneath, Gord Knowlton, and Bob Strumm also held shares of the owner- ship. The nine owners bought the Pats during the summer of 1979

Bob Strumm was named general manager. He brought in coach Bryan Murray from the east to coach the Pats.

Doug Wickenheiser scored a franchise record 89 goals and finished the season with 170 points picking up the Canadian Hockey League’s Most Valuable Player.

The Pats finished with 47 wins and 95 points and first in the Eastern division.

The Pats played the Lethbridge Broncos in the Eastern quarterfinal. The Pats had an 8-4 lead heading into the third and held on to an 8-7 win in game one, Mike Blaisdell led the way with 3 goals and 2 assists. The Pats weren’t going to repeat what happened in game one as they scored five goals in the third period as the Pats cruised to a 9-2 win in game two. The Pats scored three times in the final period to beat the Broncos 7-4 in game three in Lethbridge. Darren Veitch scored twice, and the Pats held on to sweep the Broncos out of the playoffs 4-3 in the fourth and deciding contest. Pats win the best of seven series 4 games to 0.

Eastern Division Round Robin pitted the Pats, Wheat Kings and Tigers vying for a spot in the Eastern final.

Game 1: Bart Hunter played a superb game making 39 saves as the Pats defeated the Wheat Kings 6-3. Doug Wickenheiser scored twice for the Pats.

Game 2: The Tigers scored 49 seconds into overtime giving the Tigers a 7-6 win. Ron Flockhart scored three times for the Pats but it wasn’t enough.

Game 3: The Pats missing top end forward Brian Varga who was out with an injury lost their second straight contest 6-3 at Brandon. The Wheat Kings had 6 different scorers in the win.

Game 4: Bart Hunter faced 41 shots and he stood tall allowing only one to get past him as the Pats beat the Tigers 3-1 in The Gas City. The Pats capitalized three times on the powerplay in the game. Bill Ansell scored twice for the Pats.

Medicine Hat defeated the Wheat Kings to finish first in the round robin setting up a Eastern final between them and the Pats.

In game one the Tigers came out flat allowing the Pats to pepper their netminder Kelly Hrudey with 48 shots as the Pats downed the Tigers 6-1, Darren Bobyck scored twice in the span of 8 seconds to help lead the Pats. Game two had a brawl mar the game in which the Pats outdid Medicine Hat Tigers 9-1 at the Agridome. Regina dominated the play, but the 5,347 fans witnessed a free-for-all which got totally out of hand. It featured both bench’s emptying and some rather brutal fisticuffs. Verbal exchanges between coach/manager Paddy Ginnell’s Tigers and fans turned into players hurling sticks, gloves, and helmets into the crowd. There was a point when the Tigers tried to get into the crowd. The Regina Police were called and finally arrived, well after the fracas had started. It all happened at 13:06 of the third period when Pats were leading 8-1 and delayed the game for about an hour. The resulting penalty minutes had 146 to Medicine Hat and 92 to Regina. Pats Mike Rainville and Darren Veitch both had 2 goals while Brian Varga had 4 assists. Game three in Medicine Hat had the Tigers tally 2 late goals tying the contest and sending it to overtime where the Tigers won 7-6 in the extra frame. Mike Blaisdell scored three as the Pats rebounded in game four taking the game 5-2 and a commanding lead heading back to the Agridome for game five. The Pats jumped over the boards to celebrate as Darren Bobyck scored into an empty net with 46 seconds left punching the Pats’ ticket to the league final with a 6-3 win in game five. Pats win the best of seven series 4 games to 1.

The Pats traveled to Victoria for the first three games of the final. The Pats scored twice in the final frame to seal the 6-4 victory over the Cougars in game one, Darren Veitch tallied twice for the Pats. The Cougars trailed 2-1 heading into the second period and they blew the doors off the place winning game two 7-2. Darren Veitch scored the game winner for the Pats in the 4-3 game three victory sending the final back to Regina. Pats emotion began to build as Regina defeated the Victoria Cougars 7-1 in game four at the Agridome before a record crowd. Regina displayed a killer instinct as Wickenheiser and Ron Flockhart both scored two goals each. Pats had 3-0 and 5-0 period leads. Cougars goalie Grant Fuhr was injured in the contest. Game five ended when Brent Pascal, who was used sparingly, scored at the 9:41 mark of overtime. The score clock read REGINA 5 VICTORIA 4 and the Pats were headed to the Memorial Cup.

The first three games of the Memorial Cup were played at the Keystone Center in Brandon and the remainder were played in Regina at the Agridome.

The Memorial Cup

Game 1: Pats vs. Peterborough: The Pats were defeated 5-4 in overtime before 4,055 fans as Petes’ Mark Reed’s quick slapshot at 3:52 of sudden death was the winner. The Petes led late and Brian Varga tipped in Darren Veitch’s shot at 18:36 of the third period sent the game into overtime.

Game 2: Pats vs. Cornwall: it was a disappointing night as 3,540 saw Regina lose its second game, this time 5-3 to the Cornwall Royals. Three Pat players, Mike Rainville, John McMillan and Darren Galley had played for Cornwall the previous season. The Pats big scorers couldn’t get anything going. The Royals fired 54 shots at Pats Bart Hunter. Darren Veitch scored two power play goals and Brian Varga netted the other Pats goal.

Game 3: Peterborough vs. Cornwall: The Petes win 8-6.

Game 4: Pats vs. Peterborough: Pats lost 4-3 to Peterborough at the Regina Agridome as 6,008 fans saw the game. Pats held a 3-0 lead after the second, only to see the Petes come back and score four goals in the third period. It left the Pats and their record supporting fans stunned. In the second period Peterborough’s coach Mike Keenan was getting under Pats’ coach Bryan Murray’s skin. “Petes’ assistant captain Bill Gardner repeatedly asked referee Glen Agar to examine one of the gloves that Doug Wickenheiser was wearing, initially, didn’t co-operate and Keenan called his players to their bench in an attempt to emphasize the request.” (Regina Leader-Post). He did examine the glove and determined that Wickenheiser deserved a penalty.

“That is the cheapest thing a coach could call at this level of play,” said Murray. “It shows what kind of class he has. We’re in it to have a group of kids play and have the best team win. If that means calling stick or goal pad or glove measurements, then I think it’s cheap.

“The glove was worn through, not cut out. It’s obvious that will happen to equipment after 90 games.

“It riled our players. Some of them were obviously upset and, between periods, the others were all standing around taping the little holes in their gloves. I guess you forget what the whole game is about and try to win any way.

“Keenan showed his class and it upset our kids.”

Murray and general manager Bob Strumm were also upset to the point of considering protesting the game on the basis of the call, claiming the palm hadn’t been removed or cut but simply worn. – Regina Leader-Post May 8, 1980

Game 5: Pats vs. Cornwall. 5,884 spectators saw that Regina Pats were back in form as they got their offence on track and hammered Cornwall 11-2. Mike Blaisdell (3G/3A) and line mate Ron Flockhart (2G/4A) triggered six points apiece in the Pats win.

Game 6: Petes vs. Cornwall. With only one minute and 26 seconds left in the game, many of the Agridome fans let loose their frustrations. At one point it was obvious that Cornwall was going to win as Peterborough held back. Royals did win by a 5-4 count before that was finalized many of the 5,823 fans displayed their feelings. A Peterborough win would have meant a Petes/Pats final. Instead it was a Petes/Royals final.

Some were chanting “Throw the game,” and “Petes, go home,” implying that they threw the contest to not have to play the Pats in the final. Soft drinks, programs, toilet paper and even a bottle were among the items that were thrown the direction of the Petes. The team gathered as close together they could to avoid the debris. The game was delayed for about 15 minutes until the Regina Police showed up.

The allegations were never proven.

Game 7: The Memorial Cup Final: Petes vs. Royals. Even if the Petes did lose the game on purpose it backfired as the Royals upended the Petes 3-2 in overtime to claim the Memorial Cup. The game had been interrupted 16 times as fans threw eggs – and even a live chicken – on the ice. After Robert Savard ended the game in overtime it got uglier as the Peterborough bench was pelted with eggs, tomatoes, garbage and debris.

The 1980-81 Season

The Winnipeg Warriors joined the WHL.

Jack Sangster became the Pats new Head Coach.

The Pats finished first in the Eastern Division with 49 wins and 100 points. Brian Varga finished first in league scoring with 160 points.

In the Eastern semifinal the Pats faced the sixth place Brandon Wheat Kings. The Wheat Kings embarrassed the Pats 13-4 in the first game as the Pats were never in contest. Trailing 4-1 and 9-1 by periods the Wheat Kings controlled the entire game. The Pats bounced back in game two as Garth Butcher scored twice and added two assists leading the Pats to a 4-3 win. The Pats did a complete reversal of the opening game and destroyed the Wheat Kings 11-2 in game three. Six different players scored for the Pats in game four as the Pats took a stranglehold on the series with a 6-3 win. Barry Ziegler, Brian Varga and Brent Pascal each scored twice as the Pats finished off the Wheat Kings 9-4 in game five. Pats win the best of seven series 4 games to 1.

The Pats now had a 13-day layoff between the Eastern semifinal and the Eastern final. Their opponent was the Calgary Wranglers. Neal Girard stopped 19 shots as the Pats as the Pats shutout the Wranglers in game one 5-0. Kelly Livingston scored the winner on the powerplay in the first period. The Wranglers took advantage of the Pats’ lack of discipline taking game two 5-3. The Pats took an early 2-0 lead and ended up losing 4-3 in game 3, the Pats managed just 8 shots in the final two frames. The Pats scored on three of their first four shots and held on to a 6-5 win in game four. Mike Vernon rebounded for the Wranglers in game five as his Wranglers scored the games first four goals and held on to a 4-3 win. Game six had the Wranglers leading 4-2 heading into the third period and they blew it open scoring four goals in an 8-3 Wrangler win, clinching the series. Wranglers win the best of seven series 4 games to 2.

The 1981-82 Season

The New Westminster Bruins moved to Kamloops and with backing from the Edmonton Oilers and were named the Kamloops Junior Oilers.

The Pats named Bill LaForge as their new head coach.

Jock Callander and Wally Schreiber had their 47 game point streaks ended on February 26 against Calgary. Jock Callander and Dave Michayluk finished 1-2 in the league’s scoring race. Callander had 79 goals and 111 assists for 190 points and Michayluk had 62 goals and 111 assists for 173 points. Callander’s 190 points is a Pats franchise record. Callander and Michayluk share the Pats franchise record with 111 assists. The Pats had five 50 goal scorers on the season: Callander (79), Michayluk (62), Dale Derkatch (62), Wally Schreiber (56) and Brent Pascal (55) all did the deed.

The Pats finished second in the East with 48 wins and 96 points.

The Pats faced the Wheat Kings in the first round. Jeff Crawford scored four goals and added 2 helpers, Dale Derkatch had 7 assists and Brent Pascal scored twice and assisted on four others as the Pats took game one 13-6 at Regina. In Game two Gary Leeman absorbed a cross check and received a broken jaw as the Pats went on to beat the Wheat Kings 9-5 in game two. Game three saw the Pats skate into the Keystone Centre and take a 10-3 as Dave Michayluk led the way with the hat trick. In game four the Pats took a 5-1 lead into the first intermission and never looked back winning the game 12-3 and sweeping the series. Pats win the best of seven series 4 games to 0.

The Pats opened up the Eastern semi-final at home versus the Calgary Wranglers. The Pats earned a hard fought 3-2 win at the Agridome in game one. Brent Pascal scored the game winner. Game two saw the Wranglers and goalie Mike Vernon stop the Pats scoring machine in a hard earned 3-2 win in game two tying the series at one. Chris Smith was key for the Pats in game three as he made 35 saves and Jock Callander tallied three goals and an assist in a Pats 6-1 win giving the Pats the series lead. In game four Chris Smith was again key as the Pats were badly outshot 53-24 but came through with a 4-3 overtime victory clinching the series for the Pats. Pats win the best of five series 3 games to 1.

The Pats next opponent were the Lethbridge Broncos. The series opened up in Lethbridge and the Pats took game one 6-3. Bill LaForge was involved in an altercation with fans and received a five-game suspension. Prior to game two there was a pre-game scuffle where Garth Butcher and Brent Pascal received suspensions (2 and 3 respectively). Game two ended up as a hard fought 2-1 win for the Broncos as they scored the winner with less than two minutes left in the contest. The series shifted to Regina for game three and the Broncos were able to keep stifling the Pats high octane offence as the won 3-1. With the return of Garth Butcher to the lineup, he provided a much-needed boost to the Pats’ defence, the Pats were able to take game four 4-2 tying the series heading back to Lethbridge. Playing the third game in as many nights the Pats fell 5-3 in game five. Game six was back in Regina and the Pats led 3-0 after one and 6-0 after two and the Broncos never could get into the game as the Pats won the game 6-1 setting up a game seven back in Lethbridge. Bill LaForge was back behind the bench for game seven and the players were happy to have him back as the Pats skated to a 5-2 win clinching the series. Pats win the best of seven series 4 games to 3.

The Pats faced the Portland Winter Hawks in the WHL final. The series opened in Regina and Dave Michayluk led the way for the Pats with four points (2G/2A) in a 6-4 Pats win. Portland took a 4-1 lead going into the third and held on for a 5-4 win in game two, tying the series at a game apiece. In game three the Pats held a 6-2 lead going into the third and Portland scored four in the period to force overtime where the Winter Hawks went on to win 7-6. Game four at the Memorial Coliseum saw the Pats fall 5-3 to the Winter Hawks as the Pats collected 190 of 260 penalty minutes in the contest. Pats’ goalie Chris Smith faced 50 shots in the loss. In game five the Pats were no match for the Winter Hawks as Portland punched their ticket to the Memorial Cup with a 9-2 win. Winter Hawks win the best of seven series 4 games to 1.

The 1982-83 Season

Pats new head coach Don Boyd resigned February 6 and assistant coach Barry Trapp took over as head coach February 9.

The Prince Albert Raiders joined the WHL from the SJHL. The Billings Bighorns were sold and moved to Nanaimo and were renamed the Islanders. The Kelowna Wings also joined the WHL.

Dale Derkatch won the WHL scoring race with 84G, 95A for 179 points.

The Pats won 48 games and finished in 2nd place 9 points behind the Blades in the East division. Both the Pats and Blades received first round byes.

The Pats met the Calgary Wranglers in the Eastern semi-final.

In game one Dale Derkatch scored a hat trick as the Pats downed the Wranglers 5-1 before 5,394 at the Agridome. The Wranglers bounced back ion game two beating the Pats 6-3 sending the series back to Calgary tied at a game apiece. The Wranglers won game three 5-3 the next night at the Corral in Calgary. The Pats trailed 6-0 after the second period in game four and were never able to recover in a 6-2 Wrangler win. Game five was played at the Stadium due to the World Curling Championships taking over the Agridome. There was no magic from the old barn as the Wranglers beat the Pats 5-3 taking the series in five games. Wranglers win the best of seven series 4 games to 1.

The 1983-84 Season

Nanaimo was purchased and moved to New Westminster to become the Bruins.

The Pats finished first in the Eastern division with 48 wins and 97 points.

The Pats played the Calgary Wranglers in the Eastern division quarterfinal. The Pats fired 52 shots at the Wrangler goal winning game one 9-4, Dale Derkatch, Lyndon Byers and Taylor Hall were the big guns for the Pats. Lyndon Byers kept the hot hand scoring hat trick and chipped in with an assist in game two as the Pats won 6-3. Doug Trapp sealed the deal with an empty netter making the score 4-1 in game three as the Pats took a three-game series lead. In game four Lyndon Byers scored three times and Selmar Odelein and Dale Derkatch chipped in with two apiece as the Pats finished the sweep with a 9-5 win. Pats win the best of seven series 4 games to 0.

The Pats, Wheat Kings and Tigers faced off in an Eastern Round Robin.

Game 1: Dale Derkatch scored twice and added two assists as the Pats beat the Wheat Kings 5-1 at the Agridome.

Game 2: The Pats fell 5-3 at Medicine Hat. Earl goals in the second and third periods sunk the Pats.

Game 3: The Pats trailed 3-1 after the first only to come back to beat the Wheat Kings 10-8 at Brandon.

Game 4: Al Conroy scored three times for the Tigers and that was all of the offence the Tigers needed as they shutout the Pats 3-0.

The Tigers finished first, Pats finished second and the Wheat Kings finished last forcing the Pats and Wheat Kings to play a best of three series in the Eastern Semifinal.

Lyndon Byers scored three times and added an assist and Dale Derkatch had 4 assists as the Pats fired 48 shots at Wheat Kings netminder Ron Hextall taking game one 6-4. The Wheat Kings rebounded at home taking game two 6-2 as Ray Ferraro Dave Curry led the way with two goals each in the win. Dale Derkatch scored three times in the first period and that was all the Pats needed in game three as the Pats skated to an 8-2 win. Pats win the best of three series 2 games to 1.

The Tigers were on their way to Regina for game one of the Eastern final. Game one was a close affair where the Pats skated away with a 4-3 win. In game two, only playing with 4 defencemen, the Pats scored a 6-2 win at the Agridome. Byers led the way with a trio of markers and John Miner scored twice from the backend. The series shifted back to Medicine Hat and the Pats were heavily outplayed and outshot 51-22 in the process but came out on top 4-3. The Tigers staved off elimination picking up a 5-3 win in game four, the scored flattered the Pats as Jamie Reeve was again bombarded in the Pats goal facing 48 shots. The Pats trailed 5-4 going into the third period, struck for 3 unanswered third period goals as the Pats downed the Tigers 7-5 in game five clinching the series. Pats win the best of seven series 4 games to 1.

In the League final the Pats faced off with the Kamloops Junior Oilers. The Kamloops club had a week off to rest up and it showed. The fresh Oilers skated to a 7-4 win at Kamloops’ Memorial Arena in game one. The Oilers erupted for five goals in the second period as the Oilers coasted to an 8-2 win in game two. The series shifted back to Regina and Taylor Hall led the way with three goals and an assist as the Pats scored a 7-3 win in game three. Game four was a closer contest as Jeff Lawson scored the winner with less than 5 minutes to play in a 4-3 Pats win. The Pats took a series lead with a 4-1 win in game five as the Pats powerplay scored three and Jamie Reeve faced 43 shots in the win. The series shifted back to Kamloops and the Pats were less than a minute away from the league title when Dean Evason scored at 19:18 to tie the game and Bryan Stewart scored in overtime to provide the Oilers a 4-3 win to send the series to a seventh and deciding game. The Pats did everything but produce the tying goal and Dean Evason scored at 18:20 of the third to put the game away as the Oilers won the game 4-2. Oilers win the best of seven series 4 games to 3.

The 1984-85 Season

A group of Moose Jaw businessmen purchased the Winnipeg Warriors and relocated the club to the Mill City to play at the Civic Centre. The Edmonton Oilers ended their involvement with the Kamloops franchise and was renamed the Blazers.

The Pats finished third in the East with 87 points.

The Pats faced the Blades in the Eastern quarterfinal. The Pats 51st shot on net was the winner as Doug Trapp ended game one scoring in overtime in the Pats 5-4 win. In game two the Pats put up 75 shots on goal and outscored the Blades by 14 in a 17-3 Pats win, Len Nielsen scored three, Brent Fedyk, Kevin Clemens, Brad Lauer, Doug Trapp and Tim Iannone each added two in the contest. Game three saw the Pats’ Doug Trapp seal the game and the series with an empty netter in the 6-4 series clinching win. Pats win the best of five series 3 games to 0.

The Eastern semifinal had the Pats face the Medicine Hat Tigers.  The Pats fell 3-2 in game one as the Tigers scored a late goal in the third period. In game two Medicine Hat defenceman Gord Hynes scored a hat trick in a Tigers 5-3 win. Game three at the Agridome saw the Pats have no puck luck as they fell 4-3 giving the Tigers a three-game lead in the series. John Miner scored the winning goal with a 40-foot slap shot as the Pats won 4-3 in overtime in game four. The series went back to Medicine Hat where the Tigers tied up the contest late and scored 27 seconds into overtime to send the Pats home and the Tigers on. Tigers win the best of seven series 4 games to 1.

The 1985-86 Season

The Kelowna Wings were sold and moved to Spokane and re-named the Chiefs. The Seattle Breakers were sold and rebranded as the Seattle Thunderbirds.

The WHL purchased the Pats from Herb Pinder Jr. on January 13 and sold February 24 to a new ownership group that consisted of: Bill Hicke, Ted Knight, Jack Nicholle, Morley Gusway and Huddy Bell.

The Pats won 45 games and ended up in 3rd place in the division.

The league played a Round Robin to decide the first round of the East division. The Pats, Moose Jaw Warriors, Prince Albert Raiders, Saskatoon Blades and the Lethbridge Broncos were involved. Each team was to play 10 games.

Game 1: Moose Jaw was the first opponent for the Pats and the host Warriors out-hit and out played the Pats in a 6-3 Warrior win.

Game 2: The next game was in Prince Albert and the Pats were no match for the Raiders in a 7-4 Pats loss.

Game 3: The wounded Pats had two disallowed goals as the host Saskatoon Blades downed the Pats 5-2 at the Arena.

Game 4: More injuries amounted for the Pats as they were whipped 7-2 by the Tigers at the Arena in Medicine Hat.

Game 5: The Pats playing their first home game (with a small crowd in attendance) of the playoffs sustained a 7-5 loss to the Lethbridge Broncos.

Game 6: The shorthanded Pats were shutout 4-0 by the Raiders at the Agridome.

Game 7: The Pats lost 6-4 at the Agridome against the Saskatoon Blades.

Game 8: The Pats won 4-3 in Lethbridge in front of little more than a thousand fans.

Game 9: The Pats were officially eliminated from the playoff round as the Tigers beat the Pats 5-2 at the Agridome.

Game 10: In a meaningless game the Pats fell to Theo Fleury and the Moose Jaw Warriors 9-5 at the Agridome. Moose Jaw’s top line of Fleury (3G/2A), Mike Keane (3G) and Kent Hayes (6A) combined for 14 points in the contest.

The Pats ended the round robin 1-9 and tied for last place and didn’t advance.

The 1986-87 Season

The Lethbridge Broncos were sold to a community owned group from Swift Current. The Broncos were back in Swift Current.

In the offseason the Pats traded Kevin Ekdahl and Kevin Clemens to the Medicine Hat Tigers for coach Doug Sauter. For the first time ever there was no interlocking schedule (East teams didn’t play the West teams).

Two tragic events will forever be part of the 1986-87 WHL and Regina Pats:

On December 30, the Swift Current Broncos team bus that was heading to Regina for a game with the Pats, hit black ice and went out of control causing it to crash into the ditch. Four Broncos lost their lives that day: Chris Mantyka, Brent Ruff, Scott Kruger and Trent Kresse.

On March 1, while playing the Moose Jaw Warriors Pats forward Brad Hornung was checked into the boards head first damaging his third cervical vertebra and spinal cord, causing Hornung to be paralyzed from the neck down. His number 8 has been retired.

The Pats finished 5th in the East with 31 wins and that meant a date with the Moose Jaw Warriors in the first round.

The Warriors picked up a 4-1 win in game one in a rough affair where almost 30 minor penalties were handed out, most of them for roughing. In game two Craig Endean’s 4 goals weren’t enough as the Pats lost the contest 5-4. In game three, the Pats were no match for the Warriors as the Pats fell 6-0 in the deciding game. Craig Endean scored all 5 of the Pats goals in the playoffs. Warriors win the best of five series 3 games to 0.

1977-78: Lorne Davis

1978-79: Gregg Pilling

1979-80: Bryan Murray

1980-81: Jack Sangster

1981-82: Bill LaForge

1982-83: Don Boyd, Bob Strumm, then Barry Trapp

1983-84: Bob Strumm

1984-85: Bob Strumm

1985-86: Bill Moores

1986-87: Doug Sauter

1977-78: Gerald Minor

1978-79: Dirk Graham

1979-80: Doug Wickenheiser

1980-81: Bill Ansell

1981-82: Garth Butcher

1982-83: Jeff Crawford (until turning pro), Al Tuer

1983-84: Bobby Lowes

1984-85: Doug Trapp

1985-86: Al Acton

1986-87: Mark Janssens

Leading Scorers:
1977-78: Gerald Minor 66GP 54-75-129

1978-79: Dirk Graham 71GP 48-60-108

1979-80: Doug Wickenheiser 71GP 89-81-170

1980-81: Brian Varga 68GP 64-96-160

1981-82: Jock Callander 71GP 79-111-190

1982-83: Dale Derkatch 67GP 84-95-179

1983-84: Dale Derkatch 62GP 72-87-159

1984-85: Len Nielsen 72GP 35-74-109

1985-86: Tim Iannone 71GP 65-57-122

1986-87: Len Nielsen 72GP 36-100-136 (Craig Endean led with 146, but only 106 with Regina)

Defenceman Leaders

1977-78: Kevin Krook 57GP 8-43-51

1978-79: Darren Veitch 51GP 11-36-47

1979-80: Darren Veitch 71GP 29-93-122

1980-81: Garth Butcher 69GP 9-77-86

1981-82: Garth Butcher 65GP 24-68-92

1982-83: Gary Leeman 63GP 24-62-86

1983-84: Jayson Meyer 70GP 16-67-83

1984-85: John Miner 66GP 30-54-84

1985-86: Robert Dirk 72GP 19-60-79

1986-87: Brad Miller 67GP 10-38-48

PIM Leaders

1977-78: Erle Switzer 325 (with the Pats; 338 Total)

1978-79: Dirk Graham 252

1979-80: Glen Sorenson 288

1980-81: Barry Ziegler 234

1981-82: Al Tuer 486

1982-83: Al Tuer 229

1983-84: Lyndon Byers 154

1984-85: Stu Grimson 248

1985-86: Bryan Wells 283

1986-87: Mark Janssens 209


1977-78: Pat Ansell 19-17-2, 5.38 GAA, 1 SO

1978-79: Jeff Lastiwka 15-25-5, 5.89 GAA, 0 SO

1979-80: Bart Hunter 45-21-1, 4.06 GAA, 3 SO

1980-81: Neal Girard 29-15-2, 4.19 GAA, 2 SO

1981-82: Chris Smith 8-0-0, 4.33 GAA, 0 SO (late season acquisition, started late and in the playoffs)

1982-83: Todd Lumbard 38-17-0, 3.64 GAA, 2 SO

1983-84: Jamie Reeve 27-14-1, 3.79 GAA, 3 SO

1984-85: Jamie Reeve 32-21-1, 3.77 GAA, 2 SO

1985-86: Stacy Nickel 14-7-0, 3.50 GAA, 1 SO

1986-87: Rob McKinley 6-6-0, 4.49 GAA, 1 SO (acquired at the deadline)

PLAYOFF TOTALS include the Memorial Cup playoffs and playoff statistics.

Leading Scorers:
1977-78: Gerald Minor 13GP 15-22-37

1978-79: Did not qualify for the playoffs.

1979-80: Doug Wickenheiser 22GP 15-30-45

1980-81: Garth Butcher 11GP 5-17-22

1981-82: Dave Michayluk 20GP 16-24-40

1982-83: Dale Derkatch 5GP 5-4-9

1983-84: Dale Derkatch 23GP 12-41-53

1984-85: Doug Trapp 8GP 7-7-14 and Johnny Miner 8GP 4-10-14

1985-86: Tim Iannone 10GP 5-7-12

1986-87: Craig Endean 3GP 5-0-5

Defencemen Leaders
1977-78:  Kevin Krook 13GP 2-11-13

1978-79: Did not qualify for the playoffs.

1979-80: Darren Veitch 22GP 16-23-39

1980-81: Garth Butcher 11GP 5-17-22

1981-82: Garth Butcher 19GP 3-17-20

1982-83: Jayson Meyer 5GP 0-6-6

1983-84: Johnny Miner 23GP 9-25-34

1984-85: Johnny Miner 8GP 4-10-14

1985-86: Robert Dirk 10GP 3-5-8

1986-87: Milan Dragicevic & Jim Mathieson 3GP 0-1-1

PIM Leaders
1977-78: Erle Switzer 44

1978-79: Did not qualify for the playoffs.

1979-80: Barry Ziegler 147

1980-81: Garth Butcher 60

1981-82: Jeff Crawford 169

1982-83: Brad Wells 26

1983-84: Lyndon Byers 78

1984-85: Frank Joo 16

1985-86: Bryan Wells 63

1986-87: Cregg Nicol 21

1977-78: Pat Ansell 4-6-0, 5.23 GAA, 0 SO

1978-79: Did not qualify for the playoffs.

1979-80: Bart Hunter 15-7-0, 3.68 GAA, 0 SO

1980-81: Neal Girard 6-4-0, 4.22 GAA, 1 SO

1981-82: Chris Smith 11-9-0, 3.44 GAA, 0 SO

1982-83: Todd Lumbard 1-4-0,4.23 GAA, 0 SO

1983-84: Jamie Reeve 15-8-0, 3.88 GAA, 0 SO

1984-85: Jamie Reeve 4-4-0, 3.71 GAA, 0 SO

1985-86: Stacy Nickel 1-6-0, 6.19 GAA, 0 SO

1986-87: Rob McKinley 0-3, 5.78 GAA, 0 SO

Top 10 Scorers (not including playoffs)

1 Dale Derkatch 1981-85 204 222 269 491
2 Len Nielsen 1982-87 268 110 266 376
3 Jock Callander 1978-82 201 158 210 368
4 Doug Wickenheiser 1977-80 207 158 194 352
5 Brian Varga 1978-81 202 129 200 329
6 Dave Michayluk 1979-82 145 124 183 307
7 Taylor Hall 1981-84 189 114 151 265
8 Doug Trapp 1982-85 202 114 138 252
9 Tim Iannone 1982-86 188 125 124 249
10 Brent Pascal 1977-82 194 96 129 225

Top 10 Playoff Scorers

1 Dale Derkatch 1981-85 54 30 73 103
2 Jock Callander 1979-82 53 28 41 69
3 Dave Michayluk 1980-82 31 21 36 57
4 Doug Wickenheiser 1977-80 35 19 35 54
5 Brent Pascal 1977-82 54 26 24 50
6 John Miner 1981-85 53 14 36 50
7 Taylor Hall 1981-84 39 23 26 49
8 Lyndon Byers 1981-84 48 23 25 48
9 Mike Blaisdell 1977-80 35 24 21 45
10 Garth Butcher 1979-82 42 8 35 43
11 Ron Flockhart 1979-80 21 14 29 43

Top 10 Combined Scorers

1 Dale Derkatch 1981-85 258 252 342 594
2 Jock Callander 1978-82 254 186 251 437
3 Doug Wickenheiser 1977-80 242 177 229 406
4 Len Nielsen 1982-87 312 119 283 402
5 Brian Varga 1978-81 229 140 231 371
6 Dave Michayluk 1979-82 176 145 219 364
7 Taylor Hall 1981-84 228 137 177 314
8 Doug Trapp 1982-85 238 133 159 292
9 Tim Iannone 1982-86 229 141 137 278
10 Brent Pascal 1977-82 248 122 153 275

Year-by-year Standings:

Regular Season first/Playoffs Second

48 1977-78 WHL 72 29 38 5 363 405 0.438 13 5 8 0 70 77 0.385
49 1978-79 WHL 72 18 47 7 297 481 0.299
50 1979-80 WHL 72 47 24 1 429 311 0.660 22 15 7 0 120 82 0.682
51 1980-81 WHL 72 49 21 2 423 315 0.694 11 6 5 0 57 51 0.545
52 1981-82 WHL 72 48 24 0 465 368 0.667 20 12 8 0 106 74 0.600
53 1982-83 WHL 72 48 24 0 397 281 0.667 5 1 4 0 16 23 0.200
54 1983-84 WHL 72 48 23 1 426 284 0.674 23 15 8 0 112 90 0.652
55 1984-85 WHL 72 43 28 1 387 298 0.604 8 4 4 0 43 30 0.500
56 1985-86 WHL 72 45 26 1 383 295 0.632 10 1 9 0 31 59 0.100
57 1986-87 WHL 72 31 37 4 332 356 0.458 3 0 3 0 5 15 0.000
TOTAL 720 406 292 22 3902 3394 0.579 115 59 56 0 560 501 0.513

Regular Season: 

Goals For 5.42

Goals Against 4.71


Goals For 4.87

Goals Against 4.36

Courtesy Kevin Shaw,

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