The bad blood is there for both conference finals this year. That is due to both of them being rematches of series that took place just a season ago. Despite being in the same league for 30 years though, the Regina Pats and Lethbridge Hurricanes have only come together in the post-season three times previous to this one. All three of those times occurred in the first round, so this is the first time they’ve come together deep in the playoffs. Regina has won all three series and has only lost a total of two games to Lethbridge in the playoffs overall.
1993 first round: Regina 3 Lethbridge 1
-Funnily enough, last time the Regina Pats made the east final it was also the first time they met up in the playoffs with Lethbridge. This was the four-five match up in the first round and the Pats were the higher seeded team. Regina, who was led by WHL rookie of the year: Jeff Friesen and d-man of the year: Jason Smith, took down the ‘Canes in four games in the best-of-five series. Smith is actually competing in the Western Conference final this year as the head coach for the Kelowna Rockets. Regina went all the way to the East Division Final before falling in four games to Swift Current.
1996 first round: Regina 4 Lethbridge 0
-The three-seed from the East Division Pats took on the two-seed in the Central Division Hurricanes. Regina was led by Josh Holden and Rhett Gordon, who each potted over 100 points in the regular season. The Pats made quick work of the ‘Canes, who had longtime NHLers Byron Ritchie and Bryce Salvador on their roster. The ‘Canes would make a run the following season all the way to the Memorial Cup. In ’96, the Pats would take Prince Albert to seven games before falling in the next round.
2016 first round: Regina 4 Lethbridge 1
-While this was not technically the first time the Pats had beaten the higher-seeded Huurcianes, it was definitely the biggest upset. The ‘Canes had strung together a surprising season, winning 46 games, en route to a Central Division title. In the first round though, they drew the upstart Pats and got all they could handle and then some. After Lethbridge won game one 6-3, the Pats reeled off four in-a-row. Included in those wins were two shutouts for goalie Tyler Brown. Adam Brooks, Sam Steel and Cole Sanford led the way for the Pats, as they closed the ‘Canes out with an emphatic 7-2 game five victory.