Pick of the Day: Pats Vs. Wheat Kings

After going 4-2 on their recent nine-day road trip out west that included a 7-1 drubbing of the U.S. Division-leading Tri-City Americans, the Pats are tied for fourth in the tightly-bunched East Division with a 15-13-3-0 record. As I noted in a late October post on the team, they face a difficult month ahead. First, they are destined to lose forward Jordan Eberle and defenceman Colten Teubert to the Canadian Junior team when the selection camp opens in Regina on Dec. 11. Then following a three game home-stand, which begins tonight with a tilt at Brandt Centre against the Brandon Wheat Kings, the Pats will embark on an eight game road trip to accommodate the World Junior tournament that runs in Regina and Saskatoon from Dec. 26-Jan. 5.

Last year at this time, the Pats were in roughly the same position as this year. But after the Christmas break the wheels fell off for the team and they ended up finishing out of the playoffs. If they post Ws in the next three games, they'll be 7-2 in their last nine games, with plenty of momentum heading into what will truly be a gruelling road trip. In January, the Pats play eight of eleven games at home. If they can survive December they will be in a good position to make a run at the playoffs. If they go into a tailspin, though, they'll have a hard time bouncing back.

And if hockey isn't your thing, also on tap for tonight is a gig at the Exchange by a trio of local bands: Kleins96, Cricket and Tomorrow Starts Today.

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