After missing the playoffs for three straight seasons, the Pats, under first year head coach Pat Conacher, exceeded expectations in 2011-12 and finished seventh in the WHL’s ultra competitive East Division. That earned them a first-round playoff match-up against their arch rivals from Moose Jaw.
The Warriors finished 16 points ahead of the Pats in the standings, and have to be considered favourites to advance to the next round of the playoffs. But in their ten meetings this year, the Pats played the Warriors extremely tough, actually winning the season series based on goals for and against.
The first two games of the seven game series went Friday and Saturday in Moose Jaw. In the first tilt, the Pats prevailed 3-2 despite being outshot 33-15. In game two, the Warriors enjoyed a similar territorial edge in play, and this time it was reflected on the scoreboard as they trounced the Pats 8-1. Tonight and tommorrow night, it’s the Pats turn to host games three and four. With a sizeable contingent of Warrior fans likely to be in attendance, Brandt Centre should be sold out. Game time both nights is 7 p.m.