Regina Pats (18-40-1-2) at Saskatoon Blades (39-14-8-0)
Friday, March 1 – SaskTel Centre 7:00 p.m. (Central)
Channels: Access7 SD, Access 70 HD, WHL Live
Friday’s WHL on Access meeting between the Regina Pats and Saskatoon Blades will close out another season of the historic rivalry between the teams from Saskatchewan’s two largest cities.
Regardless of Friday’s outcome, the bragging rights for the season belong to the Blades with four wins to their credit so far between the two clubs. There’s still plenty of pride for the Pats to play for though as they can aid other teams in their pursuit of second place in the East Division.
A 5-5-0-0 record for the Pats over their past 10 games includes wins against Lethbridge, Edmonton, Red Deer, and Calgary as well as their wild comeback from a 4-0 deficit against the Kootenay ICE. There’s obviously still challenges for the team, but picking up wins like these down the stretch can only serve to boost morale heading into a long off-season.
Whether Max Paddock or Dean McNabb are in the crease Friday, the Pats have been able to depend on their goaltending more consistently in the tail-end of the season. The team’s offence will continue to run through the likes of Austin Pratt and Ty Kolle.
On the Blades’ side they’re coming off the high of securing a spot in the WHL Playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 WHL Regular Season. With a 10-point lead over the Moose Jaw Warriors for second in the East Division, their position isn’t safe, but it would take extraordinary events to see a scenario where the Blades don’t claim home-ice advantage in Round One of the 2019 WHL Playoffs.
Max Gerlach’s 18 points (10G-8A) allowed him to lead his team in both points and goals in February. Before being held off the score sheet twice to close out the month, Gerlach extended his point streak that started in mid-January to 15 games, tied for the third-longest point streak in the WHL this season. Sharing that honour with teammate Dawson Davidson, the Blades have become a top-tier offensive team this season with 235 goals for, third-most in the entire WHL.
Tune in Friday night for another showcase of the rivalry between the Pats and Blades in WHL on Access action!
Record: 18-40-1-2 – Fifth in East Division
Head coach: Dave Struch
Leading scorers: RW Austin Pratt (23-25—48), C Ty Kolle (13-11—24), LW Riley Krane (12-12—24);
Leading goaltender: Max Paddock (43 GP, 11-25-1-1, 3.57 GAA, .893 SV%, 2 SO)
Power play: 17th – 18.0%
Penalty kill: T-18th – 75.3%
Injuries/unavailable: F Sebastien Streu (upper body, one week), D Kyle Walker (lower body, day-to-day)
Record: 39-14-8-0 – Second in East Division
Head coach: Mitch Love
Leading scorers: D Dawson Davidson (10-58—68), C Kirby Dach (23-43—66), RW Max Gerlach (37-28—65)
Leading goaltender: Nolan Maier (48 GP, 31-10-6-0, 2.77 GAA, .907 SV%, 2 SO)
Power play: 6th – 23.0%
Penalty kill: 7th – 79.6%
Nov. 3 – Saskatoon 5 at Regina 6
Jan. 4 – Regina 1 at Saskatoon 2 (OT)
Jan. 18 – Regina 2 at Saskatoon 6
Jan. 19 – Saskatoon 4 at Regina 2
Feb. 1 – Saskatoon 3 at Regina 1
March 1 – Regina at Saskatoon*
* Indicates WHL on Access broadcast