|Voice of the Pats Phil Andrews|
- "We are definitely happy with the two points, don't get me wrong but it's one of those things, you are sure glad the scoreboard doesn't show pictures because it wasn't pretty but we ended up winning." That from goaltending coach Rob Muntain on the 620 CKRM post game show last night after the Pats beat the Medicine Hat Tigers 4-2.
At the end of the day, three games - six points for the Regina Pats to wrap up their home stand. The Pats iced probably their best lineup on Tuesday night. Taylor Cooper got back in after taking a stick to the mouth and missing Sunday's contest. Aaron Macklin and Connor Hobbs were the lone guys still out, Tuesday was the 5th game served in his 5 game suspension. He will be back as the club starts it's 9 game road trip in Brandon on Friday night. Austin Wagner continued his strong play with a goal and an assist, Jake Leschychyn scored his second in as many games and Tyler Brown was fantastic making 35 saves on 37 shots against. Colton Kroeker continues to impress night in and night out. The 18-year-old played maybe his best game of his career on Tuesday night, he and Sam Steel were the two best forwards out there.
- What an impact Captain Colby Williams has had coming back into the lineup. The 20-year-old Washington Capitals prospect has been nothing short of fantastic in his first three games. He has 2 goals, 2 assists and it a plus 6. Williams says it was crazy stepping onto the ice for the first time on Friday. "Tons of nerves, like I can't even explain." Williams chuckled. "It's not like you get injured in the middle of the season and you are coming back. It was like a fresh start. First shift I felt like my legs were in quick sand, handling a puck I felt like I couldn't look up. But as the game went on I felt more and more comfortable and playing with Chase (Harrison), he makes it a lot easier."
You wouldn't have known Williams was nervous in his first game back. He scored a goal, had an assist, was a plus 3 and was named the games first star. He says he couldn't have asked for a better start to his season. "That was a good game. the guys really played a solid 60 minutes other than a little lax to start the third period there but I thought it was a really good game and a good game to start."
It's not just the production that benefits this Pats club with Williams back in the lineup. Assistant Coach and Assistant GM Dave Struch says there is a reason why Colby is the captain. "When you talk about athletics, any type of sports, any type of anything really in humanity. The perseverance, the determination of any person to go through what he has gone through over the course of the last half a year and to come out and do what he did... It's an emotional success story, it's every type of success story on and off the ice, in and out of hockey and business, it's truly amazing. It's a credit to him, it's a credit to his teammates to follow in his footsteps and watch him lead in the games. Obviously it was really good for us to see it happen and hopefully he can build on it."
Williams is playing at about 50 per cent with the upper-body injury but it sure doesn't look like it on the ice.
- Was good to see the depth guys on this Pats squad get on the board on Sunday against Lethbridge. Luc Smith and Jake Leschyshyn scored their first goals of the year and Sean Richards picked up his first WHL points with 2 helpers. Leschyshyn then scored again on Tuesday to tie the game in the 3rd against Medicine Hat.
- With the risk of sounding like a massive homer I am going to make a bit of an observation here. The WHL announced it's player of the week on Monday as Jackson Houck of the Calgary Hitmen. I don't want to take anything away from Houck who had 6 assists in two wins for Calgary. However, he did it against the Kootenay Ice and the Tri City Americans, who both are well below 500 and not in a playoff spot at the moment. Meanwhile the Pats Adam Brooks also recorded 6 assists in two wins, but here is the kicker. He did it against the 5th and 10th ranked teams in the entire CHL heading into the weekend. A bit of a head scratcher.
- Riley Woods was reassigned by the Pats on Monday to the Regina Pat Canadians of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. Woods had two goals and four points on the season. I am a fan of Riley, he is a very skilled player and it wouldn't surprise me if he ends up back with the team at some point. Wishing him all the best with the Pat C's.
- A big congrats to former Regina Pats captain Braden Christoffer who scored his first professional goal on Saturday night with the Bakersfield Condors of the AHL. It was an empty net marker as his club beat the Ontario Reign 3-0. Christoffer has 2 points so far on the season.
- Lots of talk this week about goal scoring or the lack there of in the NHL. GM's are tossing around rule changes to goalie equipment to make it smaller or making the nets larger. Yes goals are fun and exciting but why do we need to change the game? I am not sitting watching the NHL wishing there was more goals, I like to know that there is always the possibility a goaltender can steal a game for his team. There is nothing wrong with the excitement level in the NHL in my opinion. To be honest I think we are spoiled. We could live in England and watch soccer and see games with no goals, or one goal in 90 minutes of play. My two cents.
- On to football. It was roughing the passer in the Argonauts last second loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The defender hit the QB low and late. End of story. I don't think it matters who won the game anyways. Ottawa is going to the Grey Cup.
- What a rollercoaster Sunday for Peyton Manning. The Broncos pivot became the NFL's all-time leading passer, surpassing my favorite player of all time Brett Favre. The game was stopped and Manning was honoured on the field. Not too long after he was benched and the Broncos lost badly to the Kansas City Chiefs. OUCH.
Be sure to catch tonight's episode of Pats TV on Access 7 at 6:30. My guests this week are defenceman Colby Williams, forward Jake Leschyshyn and assistant coach and assistant GM Dave Struch.
That's all I have for today, Have a great rest of your week!