The Regina Pats are coming off two big wins at home to tie up their second-round series against Red Deer.
But just last weekend, the Pats were on their heels heading back home to Regina without a win.
Assistant Coach Brad Herauf says the difference was the ability to capitalize on the team’s five-on-five chances, noting the team scored solely on the power play in both their games in Red Deer.
“We were creating those chances and we just weren’t finishing them [in] games one and two,” Herauf said.
But the coaches also sat down after those losses and determined it was best to stay the course and stick to the game plan.
“Staying disciplined is a huge thing,” he said about his young Pats team, a comment he made in response to a hairy third period that saw the Red Deer serge back from a three-point deficit. In the end the Pats pulled out the 6-4 win.
“We have to pressure Red Deer, use our speed against them,” he added.
Also important – staying out of the penalty box and keeping the team’s strong power play going.
The Pats have scored 11 times on the power play against the Rebels this series – well over half of the team’s 17 total goals.
“The type of hockey we’re playing right now, being relentless … is just making it really tough on their defencemen.”
Herauf hopes to see the same type of play when the team suits up against Red Deer Friday night.
“Taking punches in the head or biting some comments they might make about your sister or your mom at this point in the season – nothing can be bigger for your team than two points right now, so the discipline is going to be huge going forward.”
No matter the result, the Pats return to the Brandt Centre for game six on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. Tickets are already on sale.