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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

THE WEDNESDAY THRILLER ... WITH PHIL ANDREWS

Voice of the Pats Phil Andrews
Happy Wednesday everybody!

HERE WE GO AGAIN! - The Pats are right back at it Wednesday night, playing their 9th game in 15 days when they host the Kootenay Ice. The Pats are 6-3-0-0 in those 9 and sit seven points back of Moose Jaw for the third spot in the East Division with 9 games left to play. The Pats are looking to snap a three game slide after losing to Prince Albert Friday, Saskatoon Saturday and Red Deer on Monday morning. The Pats played very well in Friday's game against the Raiders but Rylan Parenteau stood on his head and gave Prince Albert the win. Saturday a tough start sunk the Pats in Saskatoon and them Monday Red Deer put on a defensive show in a 2-1 victory. The number of games looked like it had caught up with the Pats in their last two games but after a day off on Tuesday they will look to get back on track against the Ice.

WHAT A GREAT MONDAY - Monday morning's game was incredible.  Kudos to the Pats organization for putting on a great School Day game. Director of Ticket Sales Kellin Enslev was the driving force behind the idea and putting it into action, he did a fantastic job pulling it all off.  It was a team effort from all the staff and it turned up gold. The 5000 kids looked like they had the time of their lives, the Brandt Centre has never been so loud in my five years with the team, they screamed and danced for three straight hours. I hope they do another one in the future.

RED DEER IS FOR REAL - Monday's game made me a believer in the Red Deer Rebels. The club has a ton of skill up front but that's not what stood out. It was their defensive game. Their D are big and mobile, they move the puck well and protect the middle of the ice better than any team I have seen all year long. They took a two goal lead in the first and then just played an incredibly structured game the rest of the way and picked up a 2-1 win. They are doing it without some key pieces in their lineup as well.  Starting goaltender Rylan Toth is out until the playoffs with a lower body injury and Connor Bleakley has been out since January 29th with a lower body injury. Bleackley, a 1st round pick of the Colorado Avalanche but was traded to the Arizona Coyotes on Monday, has started skating and it sounds like he will be back in the near future.

I had a chance to catch up with Rebels Associate Coach Jeff Truitt before Monday's game and asked him about his team dealing with the injuries to those key guys. "We are out with a couple guys and I guess right now the importance of winning and getting your games all in order and things like that, we would be doing the same thing if they were in the lineup or if they weren't in the lineup. We are asking guys now that the push is on and obviously you want to get to that 100 per cent of your game, game A level, take it to the next level, all of that other cliche stuff going on here. It's everybody in that dressing room now that has to push forward."

As well defenceman Josh Mahura, who was primed for a big year on the back end, has started skating. He played just the first two games of the year before injuring his knee and has been out ever since. With goaltender Rylan Toth out, Trevor Martin has taken the reins as the starter and done an admirable job. Martin has a 2.83 G.A.A. and a .904 save percentage in 29 games for a record of 12-6-1-1. Truitt says he's stepped up. "He's getting into a rhythm here being able to start. He's such a battling type of goaltender. he never gives up on a puck and never gives up on a play. That's whats endearing with his character too is that he gives 100 per cent in that crease all the time so he is an easy guy to cheer for."

Monday was the first time the Pats had played the Rebels since their big splash ahead of the trade deadline. The team added forwards Adam Helewka , from Spokane, forward Jake DeBrusk, from Swift Current and forward Luke Philp from the Kootenay Ice. Truitt says they bring more than scoring to their team. "We've got with Helewka and Philp and DeBrusk, all of those guys can bring a high quality of skill and scoring that way but the other part of it too is their leadership and their experiences. You know especially Philp who has gone through a lot of the battles with Kootenay where their teams in the past really kind of got going in the second half and then kind of drove teams crazy in the first round of the playoffs. There is a statement there for the character of the young man that way and we are hoping that not only him but the other guys we brought in will help that was as well."

Philp has been named the captain of the Memorial Cup hosts and Truitt says their is a reason why he is wearing the C over maybe one of the guys who were already with the team before the deadline, and that's leadership and experience. "That's exactly the reason why, he has gone through those wars, he's had to push himself to another level with his former team and he's been pretty successful, he's always put up good numbers in the playoffs. Just to have him in there along with our other supporting cast guys as well. There's a lot of leaders in that room right now and it's been great because it's just not one or two voices, it's like eight or nine or ten now which is what you need for a veteran group like ours."

The Rebels currently sit 3 points back of Lethbridge for first in the Central Division but the Hurricanes do hold a game in hand. If the playoffs started today Red Deer would play Calgary in round 1.

BROOKS KEEPS IT ROLLING - Pats Forward Adam Brooks managed to extend his points streak to 15 games with his league leading 104th point on the season on Monday. He assisted on Sam Steels 22nd of the year that came with 0.5 seconds left in regulation. The 15 games matches the WHL's longest streak of the year which Brooks set earlier on in the season. The first 15 game streak saw Brooks put up 32 points, this one he has 7 goals and 26 assists for 33 points. He will look to make it 16 straight games tonight against the Kootenay Ice at the Brandt Centre.

COLBY WILLIAMS UPDATE - The question I hear the most these days is, 'What is the situation with defenceman Colby Williams?' So ahead of Tuesdays practice I caught up with both Williams and Head Coach and GM John Paddock to get the answer and it "There is progression. he is closer, I'm not sure the timetable yet but he's closer. I am hopeful and thinking or believing that he is going to play before the playoffs start so we will have to play that out a little bit but that is what we hope."

When Williams was forced to have a second surgery in early January the initial timetable was 6-8 weeks until her returned. Paddock says it hasn't gone to script so far. "There is different things that happen when you are dealing with any surgery and so forth. Our original projection before this, a couple weeks ago and then it was around this time and that's not the case. Again we are dealing with a delicate thing, we are dealing with a long term thing for Colby, his career. hopefully his career and he are dealing with getting a good player back into our lineup so there is a lot that goes into it."

Williams who has played just 16 games this year is hopeful it won't be too much longer until he gets back on the ice. "It's coming along all right. Obviously a little slower than we expected. It's a little bit frustrating and it's tough to see the guys playing so well and not being able to be apart of it. But We are doing everything we can to move it as fast as we can and hopefully it comes around... It's been a little bit tough and hard mentally but I'm excited to get back playing for the playoffs."

That's the story as of Tuesday.

VOTE FOR BROWN - Pats goaltender Tyler Brown made an absolutely incredible stick save against the Red Deer Rebels Michael Spacek on Monday morning. The save is the WHL nominee for the Fan Choice Play of the Week. Please go to fanchoice.ca to watch the video and vote for the Pats netminder. No sign up or login is required.

- Be sure to catch Wednesday night's episode of Pats TV on Access 7 at 6:30. My guests this week are defenceman Sergey Zborovskiy and forward Austin Wagner.

- That's all I have for today, talk to you from the rink tonight and have a great week!

Phil
@PhilAndrewsCKRM

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

go Phil go

Anonymous said...

Always look forward to the Wednesday Thriller. I took advantage of the ticket exchange for Monday's game. Hopefully the Pat's do this again, maybe earlier in the season.

Anonymous said...

I agree Phil Monday's School Day game was incredible. But you missed a few important people when you were handing out the kudos. It needs to be said that a great job by the entire R.E.P. staff, the other Pats staff members and the volunteers was done and that's what made it possible to put on this event. With out all of them adjusting their schedules it doesn't happen, just like with out the support of your season ticket holders junior hockey doesn't happen.
GO PATS!

Anonymous said...

Great info about the Rebels. I wish I could've seen them play after they acquired all those players prior to the trade deadline but I had to work Monday.

I hope the Pats get back in the win column tonight!

GO PATS!
LC

Anonymous said...

Kudos to kellin for getting this done. From my understanding the Pats(cliff mapes) has been working on this for a few years but the Regina public school board wasnt on board. So a thanks to cliff for getting the ball rolling in this.

Anonymous said...

From what I've been told, there's no ball rolling from prior Pats staff as school boards have been completely supportive with this initiative. Many thanks to EXISTING staff, awesome volunteers on all fronts and the owners of the Pats for agreeing to give away tickets to our kids. Nice to see community come together, the kids had an absolute blast! I hope this continues in future years. I heard one of the owners on Monday say this is part of their commitment to be community builders and support the kids, well I think there are officially new Pats fans in the Queen City!

Anonymous said...

I gladly gave up my seat for this wonderful program. I would have no problem with it being a seasonal event.

I sure hope Williams is going to be available this season, but many fans are having serious doubts. If he doesn't it will be a huge miscalculation by the team. Not having an available over age for the stretch run is a real big problem. Get well soon Colby.

It's going to be a very tough conclusion to the season with games nearly every other day. I certainly hope the team develops some metal toughness because they shouldn't use that as an excuse like has been reported during the recent skid

william weppler said...

THx for the Williams update Phil...hoping he makes it back but better to protect his future right now than rushing him back into the lineup.

Anonymous said...

Red Deer is for real.....so is Lethbridge.
Dave in YYC

Anonymous said...

On a another note, the second best coach to ever grace the CFL, BC's Mr Wally has signed contract extension to 2018. He still has a long way to go to unseat the CFL #1 head coach of all time "The Sk. Football God Mr. Kent Austin". Why oh why did the "dum"skis from Sk ever let Mr Austin go? They should have just given him the keys to the Roughriders franchise and time Immortal greatness would have been bestowed on those praire flatlland losers.

Anonymous said...

no Lethbridge isnot for real yet they haven't proven anything its what you do in the playoffs that counts just my opinion but whoever play Lethbridge in the first round I think will beat them

Anonymous said...

Rebels are for real. Lethbridge is for real.
Regina is not. Saskatoon is not.
PA, SC, Moose Jaw are not Regina or Saskatoon.

Anonymous said...

We have a head coach who has won 4 grey cups as a coach. Yours has won 1 as a coach. Who's the football god?

Anonymous said...

Got to say Phil, I really appreciate your great right ups on Wednesdays.

Also, think this kids night was an awesome idea by the Pats. How many of those kids are future ticket buyers. Great to see the Pats building a solid fan base. The franchise is in good hands.

Anonymous said...

Did RP ask his friends to wallpaper this posting with comments the same way he gets his friends to make one negative comment after another on Scruffy's Friday column? 14 comments when usually there is none.

Well done Roddy, well done!!

Anonymous said...

Pats get Brandon Sunday who just beat Saskatoon 12-2 for fun

Anonymous said...

swft current are you kidding me ? oh the trolls on here who do not know what they are talking about! the wheat kings will be playing three games in three nights on sunday might the wheatie be tired as that game goes on we ll see PLEASE don't compare Saskatoon with regina one is in the dance the other isn't that's just the way it is.