Saturday, March 09, 2024

The 2023-24 Pats: A tale of two teams

With the season getting closer and closer to the end, the 2023-24 edition of the Pats has really been something.

As I mentioned in an earlier post the Pats were at or above the .500 mark until November 15th when they fell to 10-10-1-1. The Pats are now officially eliminated from the playoffs and are in danger of finishing last overall in the WHL. They have five games to figure things out, either to play for next year or just play out the string. The Tri-City Americans sit one point behind the Pats with a pair of games at hand and the Kamloops Blazers are just two points back and they have one game at hand.

Finishing near the bottom amid a rebuild is good, right? Right? Please tell me that that's good. 

Unfortunately, for the 2023-24 version of the Pats, that is not the case as many of you know the team dealt away their first-round pick in the 2024 Prospects Draft. Ugh.

Since the 22nd game of the season, the Pats have won just 11 times in 41 outings as they have gone 11-26-3-1. What happened? That will be something to expand on in the offseason.

Friday's Game

As for the game on Friday in Moose Jaw, the undermanned Pats fell 6-3 to the hometown Warriors. Ewan Huet faced 50 shots in the loss, while Zackary Shantz had his first career two-goal game and Braxton Whitehead notched his 15th of the season. Matthew Savoie (2), Denton Mateychuk, Brayden Schuurman, Atley Calvert, and Lynden Lakovic scored for the Warriors who picked up their 41st win of the season, with Jackson Unger collecting his 33rd win in goal.

A tale of two teams (2)

It is almost unbelievable how different the Pats' home and road records are. At home, the club is a respectable four games over .500 with a 16-12-2-1 record. However, the road has not been kind to the Queen City Kids as they have gone 5-24-2-1 in 32 games.

They are dead last on the road with just 13 points.

Historically speaking, the road record this season has really been something.

...Did you know that the 1976-77 Pats didn't win a game on the road? The club went an astonishing 0-31-6 while away from the Exhibition Stadium.

This is where things get interesting, it's been said the 2023-24 version of the Pats has just five (5) road wins... which has tied the Pats record for second-fewest wins on the road in a WHL season all-time.

The 1970-71 (33 games), 1975-76 (36), and 2004-05 (36) teams also each won just five games away from the home confines.

...13 points on the road are the third-fewest points that the Pats have attained on the road in WHL version history.

Only the 1976-77 (five points) and 1970-71 (11) have fewer on the road.

Enough ragging on the team for today.

Kuzma gets on the board

Cameron Kuzma - Keith Hershmiller Photography
Pats 15-year-old forward Cameron Kuzma picked up his first career WHL point with an assist on Friday in Moose Jaw, congratulations.