|Photo courtesy Curtis Lothian|
2 - Social media was on fire last night, split between the Pats game and the Oilers-Ducks playoff contest in Edmonton. When Regina fell down 3-0 just 8:02 into the first period against the Hurricanes, many were writing them off and preparing for a Game 7 on Tuesday in Regina. Some of these Chicken Littles even draw a paycheque in the Regina media.
But if you've followed the Regina Pats all season - and frankly, really only 6484 have - you'll know that a 3-0 deficit is nothing to wet your pants over. And, according to the WHL on Shaw's Darren Dupont, there was no panic on the Pats bench after that third goal went in. Just shock.
And then, the veteran Pats went to work and outscored the Canes 7-1 over the final 50 minutes of the game to end the series and snuff out the Hurricanes' flame.
On to Seattle.
Never doubted them for a second.
3 - Regina has advanced to Round 4 of the WHL Playoffs and they still aren't playing with house money. They go into the championship series against Seattle as the favourites, and owning home ice advantage. It's another series where the Pats will be expected to win.
And I expect them to advance to the Memorial Cup, but the Seattle Thunderbirds present their toughest challenge to date.
4 - The Pats spanked Seattle 6-3 back on October 30 in the Brandt Centre in the teams' only meeting of the season. That night might've been the tipping point of the season when Regina started paying attention to the Blueshirts because it was the first sellout of the year at 6484.
Either way, it was the usual suspects who cashed in for the Pats in that victory over Seattle. Austin Wagner, Sam Steel, the departed Lane Zablocki, Adam Brooks, Dawson Leedahl and Connor Hobbs all scored while Tyler Brown made 26 saves to collect the win.
Oh, and how about the post-to-post pad save Brown made Sunday night with minutes to go in Lethbridge to keep the score 6-4 when the Hurricanes were threatening?
He just might've saved the game and cinched the series.
5 - Are the Tyler Brown-Haters and Darian Durant-Haters off living somewhere on a remote island consoling each other these days?
I hope so.
6 - The last time the Regina Pats were in the league final was 1983-84 and their Head Coach and General Manager was Bob Strumm. They won 48 games and their leading scorer was Dale Derkatch (159 points) while Jamie Reeve was their #1 goalie.
In 1984 a movie ticket was $2.50, the original Apple McIntosh computer went on sale, the AIDS virus was first identified by a French immunogolist and Sony produced the first CD player. The movies Ghostbusters, Bevery Hills Cop, The Karate Kid, Splash and Romancing the Stone were all popular at the box office. The most popular TV shows were Magnum P.I., Dynasty, Knight Rider, and Cheers.
The Prime Minister of Canada was Pierre Elliott Trudeau (for you young 'uns, that's Justin's Dad) and Ronald Reagan was the President of the United States of America.
And the Regina Pats lost Game 7 of the WHL Finals to the Kamloops Jr. Oilers.
Now the Pats are back with Unfinished Business!
Here's a screen-grab from the Access/Shaw telecast, but it's substandard.
It was noted the Regina Pats did not touch the trophy, as is the tradition, but it's a hollow one at best.
Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby has never been shy of grabbing the NHL's Eastern Conference Championship trophy, and it's rarely hurt him in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Those superstitions are all between your ears.
8 - Tickets for the WHL Championship Series go on sale at noon Sask Time. However I've already heard tales of hundreds of fans lining up at Safeway Monday morning to snatch tickets when the doors opened.
So glad I purchased my four before the playoffs even began.
9 - The CFL is reeling with the news of the tragic death of Tracy Lasorsa-Simon on the weekend, wife of Hall of Famer Geroy Simon.
I'll never forget meeting her in August of 2013, as she leaned up against the railing of the westside stands during a Rider practice at Taylor Field. She was one classy lady.
Our thoughts are with the Simon family during this time.
10 - The debate is raging whether the media should be allowed to cover CFL minicamps after this weekend's news that the Baltimore Ravens have offered a tryout to rookie defensive back Zavian Bingham, the star of the Riders' Florida Minicamp last week.
It seems hard to believe - but there's no proof otherwise - that Bingham came onto the Ravens' radar due to the vast amount of coverage afforded to Rider camp in Vero Beach, FL.
For instance, the Ravens didn't have anybody present at the workout so the timing of their camp invite to Bingham is fishy.
But we can't let these minicamps go on under a cloak of darkness! Coverage of these camps is vital for the growth of the league and there are just too many great stories to let pass by.
In the end, the new CFL rule to have all minicamp players signed before they take the field has turned out to be a good one, to protect against NFL teams poaching the prospects.
Now, how this Zavian Bingham situation turns out is anyone's guess.
11 - The 2017 CFL Draft goes this Sunday and hopefully the CFL governors took a few pointers away from last week's NFL Draft.
Obviously the CFL derby will never be as big as the NFL's, but having Hall of Famers announce team selections is a great idea. Rider great Scott Schultz has been called in in the past to make Rider picks, for instance.
This year's NFL Draft was held in Philadelphia but the last time it was in Philly was 1961 and NFL teams held it in a hotel ballroom with no TV coverage or players present. It's come an incredibly long way since, while the CFL's version really hasn't evolved.
If the CFL could somehow incorporate their Draft into CFL Week, they'd take a gargantuan leap forward to what the NFL currently enjoys. They'd have a built-in audience of thousands of fans already on hand.
It's an idea to think about, and toss around.
BIRTHDAYS: Happy Birthday today to Rider alum Jerrell Freeman and Sandro Deangelis!
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