Realty One

Saturday, May 26, 2018


Keith Hershmiller Photography
REGINA - Last year's loss in the Western Hockey League final has been at the back of Regina Pats defenceman Josh Mahura's mind all season.

Now, Mahura and the Pats are one win away from capturing the Memorial Cup after a 4-2 semifinal victory Friday night against the Hamilton Bulldogs.

"I think for a lot of guys that were here last year, it literally means everything,'' Mahura said of reaching the Canadian major junior championship game. "We were so heartbroken last year to lose in the finals and to be back here is a surreal feeling.''

Regina will now face the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on Sunday and attempt to win the fifth Memorial Cup in franchise history.

Sam Steel scored the winner in the third period and Max Paddock made 44 saves for the tournament hosts. Cameron Hebig, Austin Pratt and Jake Leschyshyn, into an empty net, also scored.

Regina will try to duplicate what the Windsor Spitfires did last year and become the second straight tournament host to capture the Memorial Cup.

"Everybody is just electric right now,'' Paddock said. "I mean, you know, we're all pumped about the win, but I mean we got a redemption shot at Bathurst here so, we're looking forward to that too, but we're excited.''

Steel teamed up with linemate Nick Henry to force a Kaden Fulcher turnover and eventually put it into the wide-open net at 14:05 of the third. Steel leads the tournament with 13 points.

There was some discussion amongst the referees as to whether a penalty should be called with Fulcher getting tangled up, but the goal stood.

"Big goal, right time,'' Regina head coach John Paddock said.

Fulcher made 20 saves in defeat and said that Steel's goal was one of the toughest ways to lose a game.

"It'd rather one go in from the red line, a clean shot that beat me, than something that might be considered controversial go in,'' he said. "I think it's one that you're always going to be wondering about and I think at the end of the day it's tough because you can't get it back.

"It's going to haunt you for awhile.''

Nicolas Mattinen and Will Bitten found the back of the net for Hamilton, which won the Ontario Hockey League championship.

Much like in the tournament opener between the two teams - a 3-2 Regina win - Max Paddock was solid in net and made several key stops when he had to.

Bulldogs defenceman Riley Stillman said that his team ran into a hot goalie.

"We couldn't buy the back of the net,'' Stillman said.

Regina now turns its focus to the Titan for Sunday's championship game. Acadie-Bathurst held on to beat the Pats 8-6 in the round robin despite a third period comeback by Regina.

The Titan had an identical 2-1 record along with both Hamilton and the Pats after the round robin, although a higher percentage of goals-for and goals-against gave them an automatic berth in the championship game.

"I think we've got to move on from this win and focus on Sunday now,'' Hebig said. "We've still got work to do and it's the biggest game of all our careers. We look forward to that and one step away. So let's go get it.''

Notes: Humboldt Broncos president Kevin Garinger along with the parents of late athletic therapist Dayna Brons - Lyle and Carol Brons - received a standing ovation before the game and performed the ceremonial puck drop.

(Canadian Press)


Anonymous said...

Rock and roll rock
Rock and roll.
Oh those Pats they don’t deserve this or that. They don’t belong and are going to have their asses handed to them.
Well Swift Cutrent, well MooseJsw and every other little itty bitty city that feels they know so much about hockey. Your Provinces Queen City hockey team has done what it set out to do. Get to the Memorial Cup final.
Now let’s watch how many SK turncoats there are out there. The ones that would prefer to cheer for the Team from an Eastern Province.

william weppler said...

An emotional pre-game last night with the Parents of the late Dayna Brons, Humboldt Broncos Athletic Therapist, and the Broncos President Kevin Garinger being honoured by the CHL. It made me realize that this was just a hockey game and there would be ups and downs during the game, one Team was going to win and one was going to lose. The players, coaches and fans were there because they love CHL hockey. For most of us regardless of the outcome the Sun would come up today and life would go on as normal. But not for Dayna's parents or Mr. Garinger...their lives, and so many others of the Humboldt Broncos Hockey Family, have been affected forever and will never be the same. #HumboldtStrong #MemorialCup

Anonymous said...

Sad day for championship hockey if there's another back door champion. Actually winning your league is meaningless.

Anonymous said...

Are people still complaining about ticket prices now? What a great night under the orange-top!

Anonymous said...

Not many comments this morning. I think the chl should at least have the teams competing have at least a good week off before the cup starts.

Larry said...

Congrats to the Pats.
Can't wait to see them hoist the Memorial Cup on Sunday!

Anonymous said...

Wow I'm just shocked that the anonymous Swift Current posters who were slamming the Pats and guaranteeing that Hamilton would destroy them and generally making all sorts of ridiculous comments while remain anonymous are nowhere to be found this morning. We won't hear from them today however should the Pats happen to fall short tomorrow you can be sure the blog will be full of these anonymous hacks in the meantime great when Paddock rest up tomorrow is a big day. Brady

Anonymous said...

Sad day for championship hockey if there's another back door champion.

The only back door champions are the butt hurt Swift Current Bronco and Moose Jaw warrior fans.

william weppler said...

A heart stopper last night but JP has the boys focused on the end goal and that was very evident.
They completely stifled the Bulldogs offensive transition from the puck drop and Bulldogs never did get an answer to the defensive strategy. The Pats will have to do same thing tomorrow.
I thought the Bulldogs might have got the edge with the thunderous hit on Hebig but good on him for getting right up and never missing a shift...showed a big heart and the Team got on board.
Steel was his normal self but have to commend the stellar play of Cale Fleury. He has been the steadiest defensive player throughout and had the Bulldogs keeping their heads up all night while still getting in some real good body checks.
Max Paddock deserved the 1st Star but think the shot clock counter may have had a trigger finger in the last period :))
Now it comes down to 1 game and the biggest in franchise history in a long time.
Regardless of the outcome I want to say Thanks to the Ownership group who had a plan in mind when they bought the Team and have stuck with it even though they have been berated by many since takeover.
John Paddock (and his Coaches) have also stuck with the plan, and proved that no one player is above the Team (i.e. Gabrielle) even when it meant entering the biggest Tournament in the CHL without a 3rd 20 year old.
After the devastating loss in last years playoffs the veteran and new Players have melded at the right time to put on a show that we have been hoping would occur. Let's hope the make this last game one to remember!
And to the Regiment who have supported the team very well the last few years. They have been rewarded with some fast exciting hockey and no doubt there are some fans who had never set a foot in the Brandt Center for a Pats game until this Ownership group took over, with a promise to build a very competitive Team.
Going to be rockin' in the Dome tomorrow afternoon. Go Pats Go!

Anonymous said...

What's the difference with the other host teams that have done this and the Pats? Zippo! So zippo is what you should do with your thoughts. It ain't changing anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

I agree any home team winning should be handed an * if they didn't actually win their league. But the city is eating it up, only about 20 tickets on ticketmaster Saturday morning for the big final Sunday at the Brandt. They are going for as much as $800 per seat right now.

Anonymous said...

And that sweetheart is the problem. Meaningless title.

Anonymous said...

Pats deserved that win. They were the better team. I was shocked to see the Pats were badly outshot. I thought Pats were carrying the play and definitely had far more very prime scoring chances that just did not work out.

That was the best I've seen the Pats play all year.

All the whining about the host team. Clearly the Pats are worthy of being there. So was Swift regardless of their Mem Cup record.

The people whining about a host team really just dont get it. Without the host team having a bye, the place would be a ghost town. And who would bid it if all they were doing was hosting the tournament?

The vast majority of people watching the game in person or on TV are directly associated with the teams.

Anonymous said...

would it be a meaningless title to the pats i think not

Andrew Wiens said...

To the anonymous poster who said that 'people whining about a host team really just don't get it': I have argued on numerous occasions that the current tournament format is not ideal and invariably the response I get is similar to the one you just gave - 'yes, but if the host team didn't get a bye no fans would come to the games, the league wouldn't make any money, and nobody would be willing to bid for the tournament. Interestingly enough, this year's tournament is a perfect counterexample to your argument because, as we found out this week, the Pat's ownership group bid on the tournament this year knowing they were going to LOSE MONEY regardless of how many people came to the games.

Morgan said...

And you still sound like a whiney bitter crybaby. You still have yet to give any credit to the pats who barely lost to your Broncos in round 1 in game 7 and eliminated them on Wednesday night in the memorial cup. The tournament has had this format since the early 80's. Your complaints fall at deaf ears. The way the tournament is now is perfect other than the fact that they need to end the regular season one week earlier so the league winners get that rest. That problem has been addressed and will be solved next season when the regular season schedule is reduced. Please just try to salvage some dignity and admit that you were wrong all along about the pats sucking and not being worthy of a memorial cup birth.

Anonymous said...

In the event of a Pats win, watch for rule changes and a change of Memorial Cup format. No more buying a championship.

Anonymous said...

Not too many teams have won as many games over the past 2 seasons as the host team.
I would suggest that a pretty good thing backing up a host team of the Memorisl cup
Only the sucks speak out against Memorial Cup hosts when the host team is good. The other years no one say crap about it.

Keeping it real in the Queen City of the 306