Pats, Blades open season series in WHL on Access action
Saskatoon Blades (1-3-0-0) at Regina Pats (2-3-1-0)
Saturday, October 7 – Brandt Centre 7 p.m. (Central)
Channels: Access7 SD, Access 70 HD, WHL Live
Two crucial points will be on the line when the Regina Pats host the Saskatoon Blades at the Brandt Centre in WHL on Access action Saturday. In addition to that, fans in Regina will see their hometown Pats don some outrageous threads as the club welcomes WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation – Presented by RE/MAX to the Queen City Saturday evening.
The Eastern Division lays claim to two of the three remaining undefeated teams in the entire league. The Pats and Blades are unable to count themselves as either of those teams, meaning that keeping ground with a win Saturday would be especially huge.
The Pats return home following a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Medicine Hat Tigers Friday. After returning both Sam Steel and Josh Mahura to their lineup last week, the Pats appear to still be figuring out their identity, though their offensive potential should never be underestimated. Rookie Emil Oksanen leads the Pats in scoring with five goals and 10 points through six games. His last home game saw him notch a hat trick to tip the scales in favour of the Pats so another performance of that nature wouldn’t be unreasonable.
Of concern for the Pats is that they have yet to win back-to-back games this season. It’s still within the early goings of the season, but as the team kicks off a string of six home dates in their next seven games, gaining momentum at home would go a long way towards restoring the winning feeling in the Queen City.
Matt Bradley has been rolling along at a steady offensive pace, tallying 10 points in his first six games. Defenceman Dawson Davidson has continued to impress in his first full season with the Pats, averaging a point per game.
For the Blades, securing a win Saturday in Regina would give them a boost as they attempt to overcome a slow start to the season. As the first of back-to-back games in Regina, setting the tone for success early in the season against a heated rival would go a long way.
If the Blades are going to strike against the Pats, doing so on the man-advantage would be beneficial to them. The Blades have yet to score on the power play this season, sitting 22nd in the league. The Pats meanwhile rank last in the league for penalty kill, meaning that if the Blades are going to find a place to boost their power play, against Regina would be the team to do it.
The Blades could also use their own help on the penalty kill, a statistic they sit 18th in entering play Saturday. Facing the sixth-ranked power play in the league won’t be easy, but it does present an opportunity for the Blades to rise to the occasion.
Braylon Shmyr has impressed in his first few games of the season while rookie Kirby Dach seems to be adjusting well to the WHL level with one goal and three points so far.
Catch all the action from the Brandt Centre on Access7 starting at 7 p.m. local time!
GAME DAY PREVIEW: Blades open season series with Pats
— Saskatoon Blades (@BladesHockey) October 7, 2017
Head coach: Dean Brockman
Leading scorers: LW Braylon Shmyr (3-1-4); C Gage Ramsay (1-3-4); C Kirby Dach (1-2-3); D Mark Rubinchik (0-3-3)
Leading goaltender: Ryan Kubic (3GP, 1-2-0-0, 4.86 GAA, .826 SV%)
Power play: 22nd – 0.0 per cent
Penalty kill: 18th – 69.2 per cent
Injuries/Unavailable: C Tyler Lees (upper body 1-to-3 weeks); RW Matthew Mosher (upper body day-to-day)
— Regina Pats (@WHLPats) October 7, 2017
Head coach: John Paddock
Leading scorers: RW Emil Oksanen (5-5-10); C Matt Bradley (5-5-10); D Dawson Davidson (2-4-6); C Sam Steel (1-5-6)
Leading goaltender: Tyler Brown (5 GP, 2-2-1-0, 3.82 GAA, .874 SV%)
Power play: Sixth – 26.7 per cent
Penalty kill: 22nd – 60.7 per cent
Injuries/Unavailable: RW Nick Henry (upper body 3-to-4 weeks); C Riley Krane (lower body four weeks); RW Austin Wagner (upper body, month-to-month)
Oct. 7 – Saskatoon at Regina
Oct. 11 – Saskatoon at Regina
Dec. 15 – Regina at Saskatoon*
Dec. 17 – Saskatoon at Regina*
Jan. 20 – Regina at Saskatoon
Jan. 24 – Saskatoon at Regina*
Feb. 11 – Regina at Saskatoon*
Feb. 23 – Regina at Saskatoon
* Indicates other WHL on Access broadcast.