The Regina Pats got by the Calgary Hitmen with relative ease, but it’s expected to be a completely different series against the Swift Current Broncos.
The Pats finished off their first round against the Calgary Hitmen in just four games, while the Broncos won a hard fought seven game series against the Moose Jaw Warriors.
The upset surprised many WHL watchers but it was no surprise to Pats head coach John Paddock.
“They’re playing a good team game right now,” Paddock said travelling to take in games five and seven over the last several days. “It’s not surprising when you watch the game, Moose Jaw hit sort of a lull and Swift Current was able to take advantage of it.”
Swift Current may also be able to take advantage of the Pats if the team doesn’t start playing better.
Paddock has made it no secret he was unhappy with the way his team played against the Hitmen, despite outscoring the team 20-6 over the four games. He went so far to say that had the team played Swift Current or Moose Jaw in the first round they wouldn’t have fared as well as they did.
“There’s a right way to do things and there’s a wrong way to do things,” Paddock explained. “Sometimes you overcome the wrong way because of skill or your opposition (but) it’s got to stop.”
And the players got the message.
“We know there’s another level we can get to and our goal this week and going into the playoffs is to get to that level,” captain Adam Brooks said.
“When we say we want to be better, obviously when you win 12 straight you’re happy, but there’s just some little things you can improve on.”
On paper, the Pats should have an easy time against the Broncos. Regina won seven of eight games against the Broncos in the regular season, but anything goes in the playoffs and the team knows it.
Several players went out to watch Swift Current and Moose Jaw duke it out in game five and saw firsthand what they’d be up against in round two.
They’re expecting a completely different matchup.
“They’re really physical and they got some speed, they work really hard and they hit,” said defenceman Josh Mahura.
“We’ve got to match their intensity and come ready to play.”
- Game 1: April 6 at 7 p.m. in Regina
- Game 2: April 7 at 7 p.m. in Regina
- Game 3: April 10 at 7 p.m. in Swift Current
- Game 4: April 11 at 7 p.m. in Swift Current.
- Game 5: April 14 at 7 p.m. in Regina (if necessary)
- Game 6: April 15 at 7 p.m. in Swift Current (if necessary)
- Game 7: April 17 at 7 p.m. in Regina (if necessary)