Regina Pats have watched Seattle Thunderbirds from a distance

In fact, Regina’s players and coaches watched with interest last year when Seattle reached the league final for the first time since 1997, ultimately losing in five games to the Brandon Wheat Kings. Division club in the 2017 WHL championship series, beginning Friday at the Brandt Centre.

“(They’re a) great team a lot of skill,” offered Pats captain Adam Brooks. “Their defence plays a big strong game. It’s going to be a challenge. They went to the finals last year. Unfortunately they came up short so you know they’re very hungry to get one. It’s going to be a battle the whole way through and Wholesale hockey Jerseys it’s going to be a very exciting series.”

The Pats entered uncharted territory when they defeated the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference final, reaching the league championship series for the first time since 1984.

Although no one on Regina’s roster has been past the conference final, Josh Mahura and Jeff de Wit played in last year’s Memorial Cup with the host Red Deer Rebels.

wholesale nba basketball jerseys custom

Their experience could come in handy versus the T Birds, who got off to a slow start this season but dominated down the stretch. They posted a league best record of 25 6 1 1 after the WHL trade deadline and finished 46 20 4 2 overall. The Pats went 25 8 1 0 after the deadline en route to a league leading record of 52 12 7 1.

The T Birds also have 12 players back from last year’s playoff run.

“Seattle was there last year so they’ve got that experience,” noted Mahura. “They’re obviously a top team. They don’t want to go through what they wholesale rams jerseys did last year. We’ll be expecting a great series.”

The Pats and Thunderbirds met just once in the 2016 17 regular season. Regina prevailed 6 3 at the Brandt Centre, but that game has little relevance since it happened way back on Oct. 30.

Seattle was missing two of its top scorers on that night: Mathew Barzal and Keegan Kolesar.

wholesale top selling baseball jerseys

Barzal the 16th overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft was still with the New York Islanders at the time. He rejoined Seattle about two weeks later and immediately took his place as arguably the league’s most dynamic offensive player.

Despite missing more time to play for Canada at Womens San Francisco 49Ers Jerseys Cheap Custom/Vintage/Authentic the world juniors, the speedy winger recorded 10 goals and 79 points in 41 games en route to being named a finalist for the WHL player of the year award. The other finalist is Regina’s Sam Steel, who had 50 goals and a league best 131 points in 66 games.

“Every team has their good players,” said Mahura. “A guy like Barzal, he’s going to get his chances. We have to key on those guys.”

The Pats and Thunderbirds each needed six games to win their respective conference finals Regina over Lethbridge and Seattle over the Kelowna Rockets.

Prior to that, the T Birds posted back to back sweeps over the Tri City Americans and Everett Silvertips. Regina swept the Calgary Hitmen in the first round but needed the full seven games to dispatch the Swift Current Broncos.

“They’ve gone through the playoffs pretty easily two losses,” noted Pats head coach/GM John Paddock. “We know we have our work cut out.”

Seattle played its last three games minus Ochapowace product Ethan Bear, who is believed to have suffered a serious hand/wrist injury.

Even without one of the WHL’s top scoring D men, the Pats expect Seattle to be a formidable opponent.

“They have good players,” said goaltender Tyler Brown. “That’s why they’re in the final against us. They’re going to come out strong. We’re going to come out just as strong and it’s going to be a battle until the end.”

NOTE: The WHL final will be a 2 3 2 format. The first two games are in Regina (Friday and Saturday), followed by three in Seattle (May 9, 10 and, if necessary, 12). epaper, Digital Access, Subscriber Rewards), please input your Print Newspaper subscription phone number and cheap packers jerseys postal code.

{ phone }

{ addressPostalCode }

By clicking “Create Account”, I hearby grant permission to Market to use my account information to create my account.

I also accept and agree to be bound by Postmedia’s Terms and Conditions with respect to my use of the Site and I have read and understand Postmedia’s Privacy Statement. epaper, Digital Access, Subscriber Rewards), please input your Print Newspaper subscription phone number and postal code.

Leave a comment