|Voice of the Pats Phil Andrews|
- The Regina Pats return home for the first time since November 17th Wednesday night when they host the Calgary Hitmen at the Brandt Centre. The Pats are coming off 9 straight road games where they picked up 10 of a possible 18 points. The final three games resulted in two wins and an shootout loss. They certainly have set themselves up well after the toughest part of their schedule. It doesn't get a whole lot easier however going forward. Yes they are at home but will play 4 games in 5 nights starting tonight. It's Wiener Wednesday tonight at the Brandt, hope to see you there and on Friday for the teams annual Teddy Bear Toss night when they host the Kelowna Rockets. Should be an exciting week!.
- It will be an exciting time for Pats defenceman and New York Rangers prospect Sergey Zborovskiy. He is one of 10 defencemen invited to Russia's selection camp for the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championship. Sergey will play tonight for the Pats and then leave for Moscow for camp. He says he is so grateful for the opportunity. "I am so excited to be on roster team for training camp and flying to Moscow. I will see my family and it will be fun."
Sergey says it was his goal to make the team from back in the off-season. "This summer I had couple practice with national team and after head coach told me to be ready for Super Series. After Super Series I talk with my agent and he say coach feeling pretty good about me. Next step is to make the team for World Juniors."
Zborovskiy has recorded 4 goals and 11 points in 27 games so far this season. He says he brings some offense but mostly a shut down style to the team. "When I am score, coach on national team see I can play offensively too but my first job is play defensively, shut down play. I just play my game and try do my best. That's it."
It won't be the first time Zborovskiy would represent his country. "I am play two years with under 17 and under 16 for national team. But this is a different feeling. I was young then, it's not as popular in Russia but World Juniors is so different. All hockey world watch World Junior game because it's special for Canada and for Russia and I think it's a different feeling."
The 2016 World Juniors is in Helsinki, Finland.
DID YOU KNOW
- Pats defenceman James Hilsendager, who is known for his physical play and shut down style, is tied for the lead amongst all WHL defencemen with 2 short handed assists.
- The Pats are 9-5-0-0 against the Central Divison. That is tied for the most wins with the Kelowna Rockets for a team outside the Division. The Lethbridge Hurricanes have 10 wins in the division.
- The Pats penalty kill is up to 77.3 percent. This hot stretch has jumped their percentage over 10 percent. The PK was as low as 66.7 percent earlier this season. 12 of their 30 goals against down a man came in three games, two of which were in the first three of the season. If you take away those three games the Pats have the second best PK in the league. It's a case where stats can lie.
- Forward Adam Brooks is on pace to record 98 points this season. The 19-year-old Winnipeg product has 14 goals and 38 points in 28 games so far this season. He is currently tied for 10th in WHL scoring.
- The Pats are 7-2-2-1 in one goal games. This team thrives in tight ones. They also hold a 7-1-1-1 record when outshooting their opponents, comversely they are 7-10-1-0 when beiang outshot.
- Goaltender Jordan Hollett has yet to lose in regulation this season. He has 6 appearances, 4 of them starts and is 3-0-1-0. He holds a .912 save percentage so far in his 16-year-old rookie season.
- I don't have much to say about the hiring of Chris Jones for the Riders. Just that I was extremely impressed with him at the news conference on Monday. He is a winner and the team got the best guy available. This erases 3 and 15 in my opinion.
- 3 on 3 overtime is the best thing that has happened to hockey in a long time. Whether it's the WHL or the NHL, the excitement is off the charts. I love it, we don't need bigger nets, just less players on the ice.
- Some tough news out of Vancouver yesterday. Former Regina Pats goaltender Daniel Wapple is done for the season. He has returned home to get season-ending surgery. As well GM Scott Bonner has been moved upstairs and the team is looking for a new GM. Could you imagine if the Giants had won the bid over the Red Deer Rebels for this years Memorial Cup? What a gong show that would be. The CHL made the right decision no doubt.
- Be sure to catch tonight's episode of Pats TV on Access 7 starting at 6:30 PM. My guests tonight are Head Coach and GM John Paddock, defenceman Connor Hobbs and forward Taylor Cooper.
That's all I have for today, have a great week!