Saturday, February 4, 2012

1995-1996 - SEASON - RUSS PARKER


New owner Russ Parker was born in Moosomin, Saskatchewan. His parents, Clarence and Eleanor Parker, moved the family to Calgary when Russ was 16.

Russ is the president and his wife, Diane, is Secretary-Treasurer. The purchase price for the Pats was $ 1.7 million. The three sons, Brent, Blake, and Darren, are Directors.

The Parkers founded the Calgary Copier Limited in 1969. Before selling the company in 1988, it grew to be the second largest Canon dealership in the country employing over 150 people. (Photo: Russ and Diane Parker - Regina Pats Ownership - Regina Pats - file)

The Parker family started Calgary’s first professional baseball team in 1977 when the Calgary Cardinals of the Pioneer League began play. In 1984, they purchased the Pacific Coast League’s (AAA) Salt Lake City franchise and moved the team to Calgary. The Cannons played in Calgary from 1985 – 2002.

In 1990, the Parkers purchased an International Hockey League (IHL) franchise and established the Kansas City Blades. The Blades captured the IHL Turner Cup Championship in 1991 – 1992. The Blades were sold in 1996.

Russ was named the Pacific Coast Baseball League “Executive of The Year” in 1988. In 1989, he was awarded Calgary’s inaugural “Pinnacle Award” for excellence in the business community.
In February of 1993, the Parker family purchased the Kelowna Spartans of the BCJHL. The Spartans won the Centennial Cup national championship in 1993 – 1994 and lost in the final in 1994 – 1995.

Aside from his involvement at the team level, Russ had also held numerous committee positions at the league level. His positions have included Chairman of the International Hockey League Board of Governors, Chairman of the Pacific Coast League Executive Committee & Chairman of the 2001 Memorial Cup Committee.

In February of 2005, Russ Parker was named the Calgary Booster Club Sportsman Of The Year for his contribution to the development of hockey & baseball in the Calgary area at numerous levels as a coach, manager, and owner.

Brent Parker will handle the business end of the Pats operation as the General Manager. Rich Preston, former Pat player (1968-69) season and assistant coach of Chicago Black Hawks, becomes the newest Pats Coach.

During the off season Tacoma Rockets Franchise moved to Kelowna and the club was renamed the Wings.

After many years absence from the League, Calgary returns and plays in the Central Division. Owned by a professional wrestler, the team was named the Hitmen. They play their home games at the Saddle Dome.

1995-1996 REGINA PATS ROSTER - Goalies: Chad Mercier, Cavan Hoffman, Tim Winters, Aaron Mori Defense: Perry Johnson, Dion Zukiwsky (CAPTAIN), Chad Wilchynski, Gerad Adams, Clint Orr, Ross Parsons, Derek Morris Centre: Russ Hewson, Josh Holden, Joe Bouvier, Kyle Calder, Kurt Neumeier Right Wing: Rhett Gordon, Curtis Tipler, Kevin McDonald, Tony Mastalick, Brad Brown Left Wing: Gabe Graham, Gerald Adams, Lars Petterson, Boyd Kane, Dave Meruca, Kurt Neumeier, Shane Lanigan, Josh Dobbyn, Kris Waltze, Tony Vlastelic Coach: Rich Preston Assistant Coach: Leo MacDonald General Manager: Brent Parker Trainer: Mark "Torchy" Simpson Direcotor Media/Marketing/Public Relations: Scott Clark

Regina Pats played before the largest season road attendance on Sunday, January 14, at Saskatoon before 10,250 fans. It was to be the start of what turned out to be a very painfull injury for goalie Chad Mercier. It wasn't until approximately two months later that the club found out he had been playing with a hair line fractured right hip.

Kamloops tied a WHL record held by the Regina Pats (1979-80 to 1985-86). It was the Blazers seventh straight 40-win season (1989-90 to 1995-96).

That year the League switched to a three division format. Regina Pats finished third in the Eastern Division with 76 points.

Regina Pats' Josh Holden finished in 6th. in the League Scoring Race, played in 70 games, scored 57 goals, had 55 assists for 112 points. Goalie Chad Mercier was picked on the First Eastern All-Star Team. (Photo's: Josh Holden – Chad Mercier – Kevin Shaw Collection)


Type of AwardThe Trophy NamePlayers Name
Top Rookie AwardNick Pappas Memorial TrophyDerek Moris
Most SportsmanlikeHub Bishop Memorial TrophyCurtis Tipler
Top DefencemanCharles Johnston Memorial TrophyDion Zukiwsky
Most Valuable PlayerThe Barkers TrophyRhett Gordon
Most Goals - LeagueLandmark Inn Torchy Schell Memorial TrophyJosh Holden
Leading Scorer - LeagueBilly Hicke-Dennis Sobchuk TrophyJosh Holden
Leading Vote GetterMolson-Three Star AwardRhett Gordon
Most Improved PlayerCKRM TrophyBoyd Kane
Unsung HeroMinute Muffler AwardRuss Hewson
Most Popular PlayerMutt and Jeff's AwardChad Mercier
Heart and Soul AwardNo TrophyGerad Adams

EASTERN QUARTER PLAY-OFFSWednesday, March 20, Down 3-0 Regina Pats rallied back to defeat Lethbridge Hurricanes 5-3 at the Agridome. Hurricanes were leading 3-1 going into the third. Tony Vlastelic tied the game at 12:49 when his shot trickled between Lethbridge goalie David Brumby's pads. Hurricanes coach, Bryan Maxwell, pulled Brumby and replaced Ryan Hoople. Boyd Kane scored the winning goal less than a minute later.

Thursday, March 21, at the Agridome both teams SET A RECORD FOR THE LONGEST GAME IN WHL HISTORY. OHL and QMJHL did not list such records. Josh Holden scored the winning goal at 2:46 of the FOURTH OVERTIME period. THE CLOCK READ 1:29 A.M FRIDAY MORNING. The final score was Pats 3-2 over Lethbridge. It was 62 minutes 46 seconds of overtime play, equal to just over two regulation games.

The game ended when Holden deflected a Derek Morris point shot passed goaltender David Brumby. The game was seen by the televised TSN audience and another 4,182 fans with only half sticking out the marathon contest. Josh Holden was also the great big hero when he set up Gerad Adams tying goal with only 45 seconds remaining in the third period to set up the overtime.

Saturday, March 23, Regina's Rhett Gordon paced the Pat attack with three goals to help the Pats to a 6-5 victory at Lethbridge's Sportsplex. At 18:41 of the third period, Lethbridge received a penalty and coach, Bryan Maxwell, threw a water bottle onto the ice at the referee, which resulted in a bench minor. Seven City Police were called to the scene. When the game resumed, Pat's Gordon scored his third goal on a power play with only 33 seconds left in the period to break the 5-5 tie.

Sunday afternoon, March 24, Pats swept Lethbridge in four games, winning 5-3 at Lethbridge before 3,307 spectators. With Lethbridge coach, Bryan Maxwell, suspended for Sunday's game, his brother Randy, (Director of Personnel) for the club, took his place. Regina's Rhett Gordon scored two goals, five in two games. Pats trailed after two periods in each of the games.

The victory gave the Pats a sweep of the series. It was a tough and tiring series, four games in five days or five in five days when you consider the four period overtime game.

EASTERN SEMI-FINAL - Sunday Afternoon, March 31, Regina Pats upset the highly favored hometown Prince Albert Raiders 5-4. Pats have won five victories despite trailing in every play-off counters at one time. The Raiders were up 3-1 in the first period. Both clubs were tied 4-4 after the second. Russ Hewson scored the lone third period goal at the three minute mark on a power play, when he deflected Perry Johnson's slapshot passed Raider goalie Blaine Russell.

Monday, April 1, Regina took a 2-0 series lead, as Pats won a 3-1 victory over the Raiders at the Comuniplex. Both goaltenders, Pats Chad Mercier and Raiders' Rod Branch, had 32 shots on net. Russ Hewson came up with a goal and an assist Monday. He supplied two goals, including the winner in Sunday's opening game.

Wednesday, April 3, Prince Albert rebounded by downing Regina 5-2 at the Agriridome. The Raider forwards were too much for the Pats. Their speed and talent showed throughout the game. Brad Church led the Raider attack with two goals. Curtis Brown had one goal and came up with two assists.

Friday, April 5, Regina down 2-0 in the first period came back to win 5-3 in front of a record Agridome crowd. Pats now have a 7-1 post season record, despite trailing in all eight games. Curtis Tipler scored two goals for Regina.

Saturday, April 6, Pats goaltender, Chad Mercier, aggravated a hairline fracture of his right hip and suffered a charley horse. Raider right-winger, Garnet Jacobson, ran over Mercier at 2:31 of the second period. Chad had to leave the game with Regina ahead 2-1. The Pats then went onto lose 8-5 to Prince Albert before a capacity crowd of 3,567 fans at the Comuniplex.

Monday, April 7, The Prince Albert Raiders tied the series with a 5-0 win over the Pats in front of a new Agridome record crowd of 7,021 fans. Regina's net minder, Chad Mercier, had a strong game despite his Saturday injury. Coach, Rich Preston, pulled him in favor of Aaron Mori in the second period with Regina trailing 4-0. Mercier said "My hip was sore, but it has bothered me since I hurt it January 16, so I'm used to it."

Wednesday, April 8, Coach Preston watched as his Pats bowed 5-1 to the Raiders at the Comuniplex. Prince Albert rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to win the final three games. Chad Mercier continued to shine despite playing with his Saturday injury. Regina was definately ailing after the series; defenseman, Derek Morris, played with a broken hand suffered in game one of the series. Back up goalie, Aaron Mori, was nursing broken ribs.

Prince Albert lost to Brandon in the eastern final. Brandon Wheat Kings claimed the WHL championship beating Spokane Chiefs. Peterborough Petes were the host to the Memorial Cup tournament while Guelph Storm were the other (OHA) club. Granby Predateurs (QMJHL) came out as Memorial Cup Champions as they shut out the (OHA) champion Petes 4-0.