|Adam Brooks and John Paddock|
The Pats saw their magical, record-setting season come to an end Sunday night with a 4-3 home loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds in Game 6 of the WHL Finals. It was the furthest the Pats franchise had advanced in the playoffs since 1984.
It was a particularly difficult day for graduating Pats captain Adam Brooks, who was packing his things and leaving Regina for the final time. The 20-year old Winnipegger has exhausted his junior elligibility and leaves Regina after five seasons with the club. Although he's property of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs, he admitted he has no idea where he'll play next season.
Brooks fought back tears, without much success, as he recounted Sunday's Game 6 loss, his time in Regina, and what his future may hold.
When asked what his first thought was when the team lost in OT to the Thunderbirds on Sunday, Brooks remarked, "That I'll never be able to skate on that ice again."
Brooks missed parts of the Swift Current and Seattle series with injuries but declined to go into the exact nature or extent of the ailments other than to say, "It was my head and my knee."
Each time when he returned to the lineup, he received a standing ovation from the Pats faithful.
"He evolved into something of an icon in this dressing room, this organization and in this city," remarked Pats Coach & GM John Paddock.
Regarding the season and the club's Round 4 loss, Paddock said they will eventually get over it but it's a slow process. He said right now the club has to be proud of their accomplishments (52 wins and a trip to the Finals) and be secure in the fact they made the right moves along the way.
He said next up for the club is the CHL Import Draft and NHL Entry Draft next month, and then preparations to host next year's Memorial Cup.
Later during an appearance on 620 CKRM's SportsCage, Paddock was asked about the status of 18-year old phenom Tyson Jost of the Colorado Avalanche, who's property of the Pats.
"He's elligible to come to Regina, I can assure you of that," Paddock said. "But right now we're still not clear on his elligibility to play in the AHL. We finally the have the time to look into that situation and find out for sure."
Will Paddock's Pats be as good or better than this year's club as it prepares to host the Memorial Cup? The two-time WHL Coach of the Year says it's too early to tell because he expects to make plenty of transactions leading up to next season's trade deadline.
And when the club dispersed from the Brandt Centre on Tuesday afternoon, that concluded another season of Regina Pats hockey.
This season just happened to be the best one since 1984.