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Saturday, May 6, 2017

VIGR RECAP: THUNDERBIRDS UP 1-0

Photo credit: @PedersenMedia
REGINA -- We're in for a hell of a series.

Donovan Neuls' goal just 14 seconds into overtime was the winner Friday night as the Seattle Thunderbirds knocked off the Regina Pats 2-1 in Game 1 of the WHL's Championship Series.

The series opener was a gritty, physical affair - typical of a playoff game this deep into the spring - and the first period was definitely a "get-acquainted" session since the two clubs hadn't seen each other since October 30.

The Pats outshot the Thunderbirds 11-8 in the opening 20 minutes Friday night, but the teams emerged from the frame in a 0-0 deadlock.

The game - and hopefully not the series - may have changed at the 3:27 mark of the second period when Seattle defenceman Turner Ottenbreit steamrolled Pats captain Adam Brooks coming over the Thunderbirds blueline. The hit left Brooks down on the ice for several moments and he left the game bloodied and woozy, and did not return.

Ottenbreit was assessed a a 2-minute minor for roughing, as was Pats forward Robbie Holmes after the ensuing skirmish. As far as I was concerned, Ottenbreit could've received a 5-minute major for interference but several won't agree. He didn't have the puck.

So with Brooks gone, the Thunderbirds opened the scoring on a powerplay goal from Ethan Bear at the 4:55 mark of the second period. They took that lead into the third.

While Seattle was clearly the aggressor in terms of physical play all night long, the Pats didn't back down and veteran defenceman Connor Hobbs tied the game on the powerplay at 12:11 of the third period.

Regina staved off a late swarm by the T-Birds in the final 90 seconds of regulation time and on they went to overtime.

Fans were barely back into their seats after the intermission when Neuls - a Grenfell, SK product - potted the game winner. An initial slapshot beat Tyler Brown under the crossbar and the goallight did not appear to go on.

But it didn't matter. The startled Pats couldn't secure the rebound and it was quickly tucked by Brown for the game-winner as Seattle's bench erupted and spilled onto the ice.

Regina outshot Seattle 32-26 in the contest while going 1/4 on the powerplay and 2/3 on the penalty kill.

Tyler Brown took the loss in the Regina goal after a 24-save outing while Seattle's Carl Stankowski notched the victory with a 32-save effort.

The attendance was the Pats' 25th sellout of the season at 6484.

Just like Game 1 of the Eastern Final - which the Pats lost 2-1 to visiting Lethbridge - there's no room to panic if you're the Regina Pats. They didn't play their best game against the T-Birds in the series lid-lifter and there's plenty of room for improvement.

They can stay out of the penalty box (they took back-to-back Delay of Game minors in the second period), they can play a lot more physical to match what Seattle's bringing, and that includes making it a lot tougher on Thunderbirds leader Mathew Barzal who collected a pair of assists Friday night. They could make life a lot more uncomfortable for rookie Seattle goalie Carl Stankowski as well.

In short, Seattle came into Regina and bullied the Pats out of their own rink. They knocked out their captain and roughed up their goalie.

Kudos to 'em.

Now how are the Pats going to respond?

Regina will look to even the series on Saturday night when they host Seattle in Game 2 at 7:00 pm on 620 CKRM, Access and Shaw.

RP
@rodpedersen

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Finish bears hand!

Anonymous said...

Didn't Scruffy say something about refs not calling interference anymore on today's show? I had no problem with the hit, but I am guessing the Pats have one. Doubt we see him tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Rod...Quit whining about the ref call on the hit....didn't you just say on your show tonite fans must quit whining about refs...in fact both you and Luc were yapping about that...Pats just weren't good enough to win..another comment I heard you say the other nite...sometimes comes back to bite u

william weppler said...

Let's hope Brooksy is okay!!

Watched game on SHAW in Medicine Hat tonight. Thought it was a great Junior hockey game!...fast exciting hockey; goaltending was good again.

My take on the Brooks hit after seeing the replay several times -
1. Not sure how they could call it Roughing?
2. Agree with Phil it MAY have been late so MAYBE Interference
3. Thought it was shoulder on head the way Adam's head reacted.
4. Assume WHL will review tomorrow.

Wagner was best player on the ice for both teams with Stankowski a close 2nd. We made him look good on several shots by thinking we could shoot the puck thru his belly. If all games are like this one then let's seatbelt in and enjoy!
Go Pats!

Anonymous said...

Tremendous

Anonymous said...

It was a clean hit. Pats didn't play well enough to deserve the win. I hope they are much better in game 2.

Rintin17 said...

Come on Rod you think that Ottenbrite should have gotten an interference call, Brooks shouldn't have been watching his pass. Admiring his pass and not looking ahead got his clock cleaned. Seattle gave it to the Pats just like the Broncos did, hit them hard on every play, Regina can't play that way all game. Brown is the weak link on the team and has been all playoffs, if the Pats can score 3 or more goals they will win 95% of the time. Seattle in 6.

Anonymous said...

The Pats put forth a valiant effort tonight, but there is allot to question about their game and in game 1 it definitely showed whom the stronger combatant is on the ice. The game tonight shouldn’t even have come close to overtime as it was dominated by Seattle. Yes, the game tonight was dominated by Seattle, but not on the scoreboard as much, but the physical aspect of the game. The unfortunate thing for the Pats is as much scoring and depth the Pats have on the scoreboard one thing is missing from their game and that is the ability to withstand dominating hits and checks and they don’t have anyone whom can step up and punish Seattle back as they have zero physical part of their game.

As mentioned this game tonight was not won so much on the scoreboard as it was with the ability of Seattle being able to lower the thunderous body check and take the body. The Pats showed that they cannot counter in that area and Seattle was playing without their top point producer of the playoffs Keegan Kolesar who also has the ability to lower the boom. Just how are the Pats going to counter his return and how are they going to withstand these huge body checks in this series as they received and were provided tonight?

Unfortunately, I honestly can’t see this series going past 4 games, but wait the Pats can always await for next year when they get a free trip just for showing up. Or the Pats could also await their next chance to play in a Conference Final as it happens every 33 years.

Leon D. said...

Come on Pedersen you are such a Homer. Since when is there a 5 minute Major for interference in hockey? Get the Crying towels out, your going to need lots of them by the end of this series.

Anonymous said...

It's hilarious to hear and read all the oiler fans whining. So what you missed the playoffs for 10 years and now you have a star player, so your entitled to advance in the playoffs ? Yeah it's a conspiracy by bettman, wow take off the tinfoil hats and suck it up.honestly worse than leaf fans right now as far as being annoying.

WesternMBRiders said...

Describing Game 1 as "entertaining" would be a complete understatement. Regardless of who you are cheering for, one should look forward to more great hockey in Game 2. Even though they lost and there were a few areas where improvement could be had, the Pats should not be down in the dumps as they played well and against a strong defensive minded team. I had mentioned on here about 2 weeks ago that Seattle was very good last year against Brandon with the first three games going to OT in favour of the Wheat Kings. With Barzal, Bear and others such as Gropp, Easnor, and Kolesar back to the WHL Final again, the Pats will have to play their best and consistently. What I did notice and did not factor in was the phenom in net the Thunderbird have in young Stankowski. He was so good tonight. Brown was no slouch either. For Regina to win, they have to play throughout the physical approach of Seattle and give it right back to them, as well as keep shooting the pick and go to the net to pick up a garbage goal.

Anonymous said...

How can the Pats respond physically. Paddock traded away all the grit and toughness for more snow flake type players. He doesn't have a clue when it comes to tough physical hockey. He never forced his guys to play any of it all season. If predatory hits are OK in the league now, perhaps the Pats can take a lesson from that now knowing the standard. Hobbs hit guys the same way and got suspended for it. How can there be these ridiculous standards. It's a predatory hit with a clear elbow to the head on a guy without the puck. Case freakin closed! Brown back to is one weak goal a game.

Anonymous said...

"Since when is there a 5 minute Major for interference in hockey"

If it is interference, and an injury results, a five minute major shall be applied.

If the injury is deemed intentional, a match penalty shall be applied,

Signed,

The Ref.

Anonymous said...

All the negative nellies had to wait quite a while to post!

It was an entertaining game which went the wrong way for my Pats but they need to play with more urgency tonight. Seattle is a very big, strong team. Pats will solve that young goalie and will respond tonight. Its only game one and they won't go down without a fight.

I hope Brooks is ok. It looked like a cheap shot in my opinion.

GO PATS!!!

Anonymous said...

If Hobbs would have taken out Bear or Barzal with that type of hit, this board would be lighting up with idiots screaming for a suspension, lead by their coach. Some of the morons here never cease to amaze me.

Seattle isn't that big of a team but they play big. Mollenan at 5'8" playing like he's 6'4". Whereas some of the Pats that are 6'4" are playing like they're 5'8". They need to use their size and start forcing the issue as what they did last night was unacceptable. Seattle let them shoot from outside all night but nobody wanted to go to the front of the net and bother Stankowski very much. The Pats played like it was run and gun a lot of the night and as Rod says that style won't cut it. instead they should have forced Seattle to play with their faces up against the glass. The also have to bare down as they had 2 or 3 goals in the first if they had played hard and driving hard rather than playing O-lay hockey. Brown needs to be better in the clutch. The OT goal is on him.

Anonymous said...

Good job TBirds, showing the ability to disrupt a good team in their own building and coming out with the win. Expect a bigger fight from the Pats tonight. Now they know what they need to do to match Seattles style of play. Hopefully Brooks is alright.

Anonymous said...

The speed that the game was played made the Brooks hit a big one for sure and I find it hard to believe that Ottenbreit was trying to intentionally hurt Brooks. However there is a part of the game that fans like to see good hard hits so when the opportunity is there and the player with the puck is focused on moving it towards the net he is going to be unprepared for the hit. So is he at fault for not keeping his head up or is the guy making the big hit at fault? Depends who you ask.

Anonymous said...

It's called a Predatory hit!…it is an offence even in the NHL

Anonymous said...

You can get 5 minute penalties for tripping there genius. Any penalty deemed malicious or causing injury can be a 5.

Anonymous said...


The hit on Brooks was interference. The puck was gone. To say it was a 5 minute major is a bit of a stretch.

Thank god, the refs in this game were better than the bozos in Anaheim. Those guys should be doing second rate SJHL games than the NHL.

Couldn't get tickets for Game 1, but I have them for tonight.

GO PATS!

perry

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem maybe for the Pats is playing 60 minutes. They seem to have some lapses at times. If they play 60 there would be no need for Overtime which also appears to be a problem being 1-3 in OT. Historically too the Pats don't do well in OT in the playoffs, especially at home. I am sure their record in OT at home in the playoffs would be very bad.

And the Steel line needs to be better for them to win, too much time was spent in their own end. The 3rd line of Holmes, Buziak, and Lockner was their best line. But no need to panic, this team has shown it can bounce back. Let's turn it up a notch boys. Go Pats. Need to win 4 games, doesn't matter which games they win. Seattle is a great opponent but so are the Pats.

Anonymous said...

Oiler fans stop your effing whining. Worse than leaf fans for how annoying you are ALREADY.

Anonymous said...

Was a tough, fast exciting hockey. Just what you would expect for a Championship final. As for the Oiler fans, they don't bother me as much as every announcer and analyst on NHL broadcasts that make it their mission to cheer for any Canadian team still in the hunt. Paul Romanuik may need a defibrillator one of these times when Senators score. They need to be professionals and remain neutral unless their check is signed by the team you're cheering for!

Anonymous said...


If in pressbox near Arielle Zerr tonight, please give her one of your social media books. She is the worst amongst the Regina media when it comes to Twitter accounts. She really shouldn't have one.

Anonymous said...

The CHAMPS (Seattle) are who Pats fans knew they were.

Anonymous said...

Sorry pal the T-Birds are most certainly not the Champs. That title in 2016 was won by the Brandon Wheat Kings. Seattle lost last year just like they are going to lose this year.

Spock Logic