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Thursday, May 24, 2018

OH HENRY! PATS ADVANCE TO MEMORIAL CUP SEMIS

Keith Hershmiller Photography
REGINA - The Regina Pats had to wait over six weeks for the Memorial Cup to arrive after a first round exit at the hands of the Swift Current Broncos in the Western Hockey League playoffs.

Regina exacted revenge on the Broncos on Wednesday night by defeating them 6-5 in the round-robin finale to eliminate Swift Current from the Canadian major junior championship.

"Our (45) days off, we were hoping these guys would win (the league title),'' Pats forward Matt Bradley said. "We're happy hard work and preparation have paid off.''

Nick Henry scored a hat trick for Regina, which will now face the Ontario Hockey League's Hamilton Bulldogs in Friday's semifinal.

The Pats' win means the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Acadie-Bathurst Titan advanced directly to Sunday's championship game.

Regina coach John Paddock said that losing last year's WHL final along with the first round exit has been smoldering in his players.

"We were told we were the best team, but sometimes the best teams don't win and we were told that after the series and we were told that this year,'' he said.

"So I think they had something to prove for over a year.''

Cameron Hebig, Bryce Platt and Libor Hajek also scored for the Pats (2-1), who got five assists from captain Sam Steel. Josh Mahura tacked on two helpers and Max Paddock made 26 saves in net.

Glenn Gawdin struck twice with Beck Malenstyn, Aleksi Heponiemi and Giorgio Estephan rounding out the attack for Swift Current (0-3).

Broncos goaltender Stuart Skinner, who turned away 22-of-28 shots, said that losing to the Pats once again in his junior career is difficult.

"I only beat them once and that was this year in the (playoff) series,'' Skinner said. "It's tough to lose against them three times for me. I don't like them very much.''

Swift Current was without star forward Tyler Steenbergen for a second-straight game after he we was injured in the Broncos' opener against Acadie-Bathurst.

Head coach Manny Viveiros said that Steenbergen suffered a concussion while Gawdin was playing with a separated shoulder.

The game was Swift Current's 102nd of the season including regular season, playoffs and the Memorial Cup. Viveiros said that fatigue started to set in.

"At the of the day I really thought we were running out of fumes,'' he said.

A five-goal second period broke the game open thanks in large part to Steel's passing brilliance.

Hebig received a pass from Steel at the side of the net and tapped it in at 10:29 with the man advantage. After a Gawdin goal, Regina regained its two-goal advantage while shorthanded late in the second with Henry finishing off a 2-on-1 with Steel.

Henry completed the hat trick 57 seconds after Malenstyn's goal when Steel found him again off an odd-man rush. Steel leads the tournament with 11 points.

"It's just everyday things for those guys,'' Mahura said of Henry and Steel. "Obviously you never expect that out of players, but I mean it's no surprise for us in the room to see them play like that in a big game.''

The Broncos made it close late with third period goals from Heponiemi, Estephan and Gawdin's second of the game.

But a too-many men penalty with 2:12 remaining squashed any chance of a comeback.

And now, a fifth Memorial Cup title in franchise history is within reach for the Pats.

"It's a good feeling right now,'' Regina forward Jake Leschyshyn said. "I think we worked so hard to get to that point.

"We have two more games ahead of us. That's what we're focusing on now. It's good fun right now, though.''

(Canadian Press)

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Haha! So where is that anonymous Swift who yapped for months about how superior his team was and how the Pats would get hammered by his Broncos? Oh..right....he is anonymous so we'll never know.
But seriously though it is too bad for the Broncos that steenbergen got hurt, those are pretty big skates to fill. It's also too bad Skinner didn't have a little bit better game however on a couple of those goals absolutely nobody was going to stop them.
Great run for the Broncos and the City of Swift Current however the well-rested and smoldering Pats were just a little too much tonight. Would be nice to see them keep that intensity up on Friday and then make it to the final. Great season Swift Current you have nothing to hang your hands about.
Brady

Larry said...

Wow, what an atmosphere last night!
Pats dominated at times and the sat back and played it too conservative for me.
Steel put on a show with his 5 highlight assists.
Classy move for the teams to shake hands after the game and show respect to each other.
Real good junior hockey moments and now on to the semi's for the Pats!

william weppler said...

Hats off to the Broncos and their Fans for supporting them. It was a great game and I thought it was over when Pats up 3, but the never-say-die Broncos made it too interesting!

When I heard Manny talk about the injuries to their Star players it takes me back to last years Pats Team who suffered similarly with injuries throughout the playoffs but gave it their all.

I think Swift Current should erect a statue of Captain Gawdin in the town square....what a Leader for a Team!! Good luck in the AHL then the NHL Mr. Gawdin.

Now let's give credit due to the Pats and Steel who is everything to the Pats that Gawdin is to the Broncos. What a performance by Sam and his sidekick Henry. Paddock also made some great saves and outplayed his nemesis Skinner for the last time this season.

It's going to take everything the Pats have to move past the Bulldogs and maybe playing at home will be enough to do it.

Let's get'r done boys!

Morgan said...

Bye bye Broncos!!! Pats win big when it counts! Onto to the semi final boys!!! Go Pats Go!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey swift we told you that you just were not good enough and now it's time for you to listen ,you can have the league title and we will have the Memorial Cup I am good with that and now it's time to say good bye for this year and enjoy your golf season

Anonymous said...

It's too bad that the Broncos had to play with some major injuries but you didn't hear Paddock whining about it last year. A two shift a game player for Swift Current deliberately took out Brooks knees and we had to play the series without him. It was hard but we won it. I'm sure Viveros didn't have anything to do with that hit did he, right! Nobody felt sorry for the Pats last year or this and I don't feel sorry for the Broncos. Not one bit.

Now on to the game. Pats laid back and it just about cost them. Had Paddock pushed the issue when we were up three goals, he may have sent himself and the team into the final game. He had to win by a couple more goals and they have lit up Skinner more than once. In the third period we were a wreck. Stupid icings, poor defensive coverage by almost everyone. D-men icing pucks when they had lots of time to take two strides and make a simple play. Our #1 line backing off into a defensive mode??? This game should have never been this close and we had a spot in the final almost within our grasp. There were some very questionable coaching tactics this game and tournament. Max Paddock didn't make a great save all night. If not for the blocked shots, we lose and are playing tonight. The Pats will need to be a heck of a lot better tomorrow night or it will be over. Another 5 minutes last night and it may have been.

Anonymous said...

Hamilton will win 4-1, book it. Pats are not in their league. WHL is a step behind the OHL, Evidence is they have won the last 3 memorial cups. WHL champs combined 0-6 in the last two memorial cups

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonymous...nice comment about not being good enough! Funny! Try playing 26 playoff games in the WHL! The idea about getting revenge is immature and childish. A good team would be focusing on a win to move on, not getting revenge for a series that took place 2 months ago! Arrogance-smugness came off the Pats players with 5 minutes left! Too bad there was an offside at the end-nice celebration Pats!!!

Enjoy the lack of a banner in your rafters in 17/18-we have two to hang up in our arena!!!!

Morgan said...

What happened in the opening game of the tournament then? Didn't pats beat Hamilton? Dummy!!!

Morgan said...

Good old bitter swift current has arrived! We beat your boys good last night and lit up your wannabe all-star goalie! Time to eat your humble pie and admit the pats were the better team! Go Pats Go!!! Bring on the semi finals baby!!!

Anonymous said...

THEY WILL HAVE A banner, as memorial cup host i believe they at least will have memorial cup semi finalist would they not

Anonymous said...

More Regina In Breds going to pay $95.00 to see their Patsies get kicked around by a much more skilled and tougher Eastern team. Go Hamilton Go !

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhhh...so the Broncos were a little beat up and tired..well you can put your feet up now boys and relax. All teams except the Memorial Cup Host Regina Pats are a little beat up yet the Broncos could not even win 1 game. They were severely out played the other night and had it nor been for their late season pickup in goal it surely would have been an embarrassment to the WHL. Broncos kept up the trend of the WHL rep not winning a single game in the tourney, so there's that.
Anyway. for those of you who do not think the Pats belong here think about this for a second...the Pats were missing key players when they met in the first round and lost by 1 goal in a 7 game series and the Pat organization has won over 100 games the last 2 years. They do deserve this opportunity and who knows what will happen, but good on them for winning 2 games and putting up a great show on behalf of the WHL and the dedicated Pat fans.
Also happy for you to be hanging some banners in your rink, the way the organization mortgaged the future of your club, it may be a while before you see another.

Anonymous said...

A swift fan upset with pats fans enjoying their moment and calling out pats players for being arrogant and smug.... ok! I think you should worry about the direction your team is going after this season and enjoy those banners because if you think last nights loss was tough....


Anon number nine

Andrew Wiens said...

Morgan, how come you peed your pants last night with 30 seconds to go - a little too close for comfort perhaps?

Andrew Wiens said...

Funny how when the Pats lose injuries are always the decisive difference yet when they win their opponents injury situation is always insignificant.

Andrew Wiens said...

If Viveiros told White to take out Brooks last year then why didn’t he order him to do the same thing to Steel this year?

Anonymous said...

I have noticed a pattern on this blog lately.....Pats lose and the haters can't wait to get to their key boards and type out hate messages and insults.....but when the Pat's win its pretty quiet...ah..the sounds of silence from the west of us

Anonymous said...

If the Pats don't get any better goaltending than they did in their last two games, their season ends Friday night. Paddock is too young and still mentally immature. He looks to be out of position and fighting the puck. Maybe asking too much from an unproven rookie. The level of tending the last wo games won't win a championship. Only everybody connected with hockey knows that.

Anonymous said...

Ahaha quiet from the west of us.
Those wascally wabbits never like looking down Elmer Fudds double barrel shot gun.
Barrel 1 finished off not wining a single game in the tournament.
Barrel 2 eliminated the poor Swiftys. They left town allowing the Westerly current to swiftly take them home.

Marvin the Martian
By proxy for the Swift fans that left so quickly.
You have made us angry
Very Angry, Yes in deed

Anonymous said...

6-5 PATS Andrew. No Pee, just a W. A BIG BEAUTIFUL W!!

Anonymous said...

If Russia was playing the Pats I would be cheering for Russia...Can't wait for the Raiders to play Regina next year...

Anonymous said...

Pats will need to play better in their own zone to bet Hamilton and Paddock will need to stay on his feet. A few Bronco goals were easy shots over the shoulder while he was on his knees and didn't need to be. Needs to hug the post better as well, a few shots almost slipped by. A 120% effort for 60 minutes and see you Sunday Titan!