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Regina Pats fans confirm that playoffs do exist

What the Puck?!
Autumn McDowell
Sports Editor

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s the playoffs!

Hockey fans in the Queen City didn’t know what hit them on March 9. It was something so shocking it made you want to shed tears from your eyes while simultaneously piss your pants with excitement.

That night, the Regina Pats clinched a playoff spot after earning a 5-4 win against the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors.

When the final horn sounded and the postseason berth was made official, fans didn’t know what to do with themselves. While some wandered around the rink as if they were in the Twilight Zone, others drove wildly down Saskatchewan Drive honking their horns as obnoxiously as if someone had just been married.

I suppose it was a wedding of sorts. After all, the Regina Pats were finally able to commit to the playoffs after a three-year relationship with a swamp donkey.

Fans now have the right to rub success in opponents’ faces and, my God, they have earned that right.

Pats fans have had to deal with the ongoing ridicule and constant chirps from opposing fans since the 2007-08 season, also known as the last time the Pats made the playoffs.

Back then, the Pats sat second place in the Eastern Conference during the regular season, but went on to suffer a disappointing conference quarterfinal playoff loss, even with the likes of future NHLer’s Jordan Eberle and Colton Teubert on the roster. This year, let’s hope things are different.

This year, the Pats are entering the 2012 playoffs after a seventh place finish in the regular season. With the first place Edmonton Oil Kings – yes, you read that right, the Oil Kings are in first – getting a bye to the conference semifinals, the Pats are set to take on the second-place Moose Jaw Warriors in an epic battle that is sure to renew their highway rivalry.

Even a few years ago, battles between the Warriors and Pats were almost always sold out. I remember being forced to be one of the losers with a “standing room only” ticket in my hand, just so I could take in a piece of the rivalry.

The players and fans used to be so involved in the rivalry that even I was about ready to dummy an annoying Warriors fan that I was fortunate enough to have to stand beside.

Hockey fans in Regina should take the opportunity while it is here to dabble in a little playoff action, even if it means gritting your teeth while some annoying Moose Jaw fan is kicking your seat, yelling the wrong calls at the ref, or awkwardly spilling popcorn on you.

It is worth putting up with all of that crap just to see what the playoffs actually look like.

The Regina Pats making the playoffs could be compared to a total solar eclipse. It only comes every few years, but there is always one jackass that misses it and consequentially has nothing to contribute to the conversation when everyone is talking about it later.

Don’t be that jackass. The playoff puck will officially drop in Moose Jaw on Friday.

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