Regina Pats Optimistic Despite Pre-Season Losses, Eye Winning Opportunity Against Blades and Raiders

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In the pre-season face-offs, Regina Pats narrowly missed the win, losing both matches to Brandon Wheat Kings over the recent weekend. However, the team still has two more opportunities to make their mark before the Western Hockey League (WHL) regular season commences. Their opponents? Saskatoon Blades and Prince Albert Raiders.

Albeit losing, these were close matches for Regina Pats. The first match ended with a score of 1-0 and the latter culminated in a 2-1 overtime defeat. Nevertheless, Pats’ head coach, Brad Herauf, remains optimistic about the team’s performance.

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“The scores might not reflect it, but we held our ground, especially on the defensive side. This is something we have emphasized since the beginning,” Herauf reflected. “There were numerous chances for us to score, however, the points just didn’t materialize.”

These games served as a platform for both novices and experienced players to demonstrate their prowess in anticipation of the approaching season. Herauf singled out many who had particularly impressed him over the weekend, including 15-year-old Cameron Kuzma, an impressive camp performer Matteo Michaels, and resilient goalies who only allowed three goals across the matches.

Herauf was firm in his optimistic outlook. “Numerous rookies are defying the odds and securing their spots on the roster, driving a healthy competition,” He added, “We are headed the right direction, and with most of our seasoned players competing in the upcoming games, we’ll be in a better evaluation position by the end of this week.”

Currently, Regina Pats roster is comprised of 15 forwards, 9 defensemen, and two goalkeepers. This season, the team plans to retain 13 forwards and 7 defensemen, injuries notwithstanding. Among the 20-year-olds on the team are Zack Stringer (LW), Parker Berge (D), and Drew Sim (G). However, Sim is currently sidelined, recovering from hip surgery, and is not expected to return until potentially the end of October.

Nevertheless, Herauf’s passion and excitement for the season ignites, following his recent promotion to the team’s head coach in the offseason.

“It used to be merely providing insights and ideas. Now, it’s taking the helm,” he said. “And with our new assistant coaches offering immense support, I think everything is shaping up favorably.”

Looking to the week ahead, the Pats will go head-to-head with Saskatoon on home grounds on Wednesday and will meet Prince Albert on the road on Friday. Both teams are familiar foes, as the Pats will face them throughout the season.

When asked about the competition, Herauf admitted, “Our division will be tough this year. All teams are maturing impressively. P.A., who was one of the underdogs last season, is poised to put on an impressive performance this year. Saskatoon is no exception. So, to stay ahead, we must maintain consistency because in this league, no opponent can be underestimated.”

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.