While the “Road to Regina” continues for 12 teams in the Canadian Hockey League, the Regina Pats are practicing awaiting for the arrival of the other teams that will compete in the 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup.
John Paddock’s squad has started practicing for the event after taking some time off following their elimination at the hands of the Swift Current Broncos in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs April 3.
As the team embarks on several practices leading up to their first game at the event on May 18, captain Sam Steel says in a way getting ready for the Memorial Cup with this extended training camp is like getting ready for the World Juniors.
“This might be a little bit more intense.” Steel said. “When you go to World Juniors, they teach you everything, but here we know our game and what we can do so it is a case of getting in shape and being ready to go.”
Steel says the first couple of days have been positive.
“Guys have had a good attitude in the first couple of days, and it’s been fun to come to the rink.” Steel said. We’re all anxious to get going, but we all realize there is a long time between now and that first game. We all play hockey to play the games. We know we will play, and that all the stuff we are doing right now will make us better players and a better team.”
Head Coach and General Manager John Paddock echoes the thoughts of his captain when it comes to the work ethic of his squad knowing they have a lot of time yet before getting back on the ice.
“They worked real hard for the first few days which is the biggest thing.”Paddock said. “Putting in the work, having the commitment to work, and a commitment to doing things right is the key. We can use this rest as an advantage.”
The Pats first game at the Mastercard Memorial Cup is May 18 against the Ontario Hockey League champions.