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Happy Wednesday everybody!
- What an incredible night at the Brandt Centre yesterday when the Pats beat the Red Deer Rebels in game 3, 6-3. I have never in my five years heard that building so loud. Well done Pats Regiment! You deserve a massive pat on the back, such an amazing atmosphere. Lets do it again tonight for game 4!
-Before I get to thoughts on game 3, first would like to recognize an incredibly classy move by the Pats organization during the first period. Many of you know, former Regina Pats play by play man and now Flames colour man Peter Loubardias has come down with an unknown illness and has had a tough month and a half. The Pats showed their support for Pete during the first period.
Peter Lou is an incredible man and broadcaster. I have been blessed to get to know him a little over the last few years and I join with the entire hockey community wishing him a speedy recovery!
- Now to the game, it followed the exact same script through two periods as the first two games in Red Deer. Tied heading to the final period. This time however it was the Pats who found away to take the lead when Connor Hobbs scored on the powerplay just past the midway point. Rykr Cole scored just 12 seconds later and then Austin Wagner added a short handed goal to make it 6-3 and the game was over. In the first two games the Pats had glorious chances to take the lead or tie the game but could not convert. Tuesday was an entirely different story. This series has been incredibly tight and fun to watch. As a fan of the game, you just want to see it go the distance.
- The Pats powerplay has been incredible in this series so far with 7 goals in three games. The big factor in their first win however was to find even strength offense. In the first two games the Pats did not have anything beyond powerplay goals but on Tuesday they got two 5 on 5 and a short handed one as well. That will need to continue moving forward because the Rebels powerplay has been almost as dangerous. The Pats took just 3 penalties in game 3 as well which will be the recipe for success going ahead.
- The play of the third line of Jake Leschyshyn, Rykr Cole and Aaron Macklin in game 3 cannot be understated. They were momentum changes everytime they stepped on to the ice. Leschyshyn scored and had an assist and Rykr Cole added a goal as well. Adam Brooks, Cole Sanford and Sam Steel are going to get their points in almost every game but then that third line cam come through.., so huge.
- Speaking of the big three, what a run Brooks, Steel and Sanford are on in these playoffs. All three ave points in every one of the pats 8 games so far. Brooks leads the WHL scoring with 19 points in that stretch while Steel and Sanford are tied for 6th with 12 points a piece.
- Connor Hobbs is playing his best hockey as well for the Pats. The Washington Capitals prospect has points in 4 straight with 1 goal and 4 assists including last nights game winner. The 18-year-old trails only Kale Clague of the Brandon Wheat Kings for the most playoff points by a defenceman. Clague has 8 so far with one more game played.
- The Red Deer Rebels let their frustrations get the best of them late in the game. Colton Bobyk during a scrum in the corner first off shoots the puck at the head of Adam Brooks and then goes into the pile and stabs Colby Williams in the face with his stick along the boards multiple times. He wasn't even penalized on the play. Absolutely ridiculous. Though the video has likely been sent to the league office and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets suspended.
- It was a big night around the WHL for the teams entering game 3's, down 2-0. The Pats were not the only team to get right back into their second round series. The Moose Jaw Warriors hammered Brandon 7-1 and the Kelowna Rockets held on for a 3-2 win over Victoria. Home ice is a beautiful advantage sometimes. Things got a lot tighter and that only makes for more excitement. Really good to see.
- Be sure to catch tonight's episode of Pats TV on Access 7 starting at 6:30. My guests this week are forwards Austin Wagner and Lane Zablocki as well was Goaltending Coach Rob Muntain.
That's all I have for today, have a great week and hope to see you at the Brandt Centre tonight for game 4!