The Pats were “born” in the fall of 1917. Today, October 30th, the Regina Pats turn 103 years old.
Here is a quick story about the Pats’ origins.
Was this team the Pats?
The first mention of the Regina Pats may have occurred on October 11, 1917. The Regina Morning Leader was discussing the upcoming Saskatchewan junior hockey season. At the end of the article, it was teasing a new unnamed team in the city: “Another junior team has just loomed up in the city. The name is to remain a mystery for the present. They are all dark ponies of about seventeen summers. They claim they will spring a surprise when the time comes. At present they are engaged in setting the scenery for the drama.” Trying to find out any more information about this is pretty much impossible. With the team being over a hundred years old all the people involved at the beginning are no longer around.
Pats officially named
The Pats were originally called the Patricias (or the Regina Patricia Hockey Club) and was officially organized on October 30, 1917. They would join the Regina Monarchs and Regina Victorias in a local branch of the Saskatchewan junior hockey loop.
As the First World War was dominating the front page of The Morning Leader, the Pats’ formation was almost an afterthought. In fact, it was not reported until November 2nd, on page 16. The organization of the Patricias coincided with the beginning of an official junior hockey loop in Saskatchewan in which 12 teams would take part. The four teams in Group 1 (Regina area) were the Patricias, Victorias, Monarchs, and the Tyvan Tigers.
Patricia Club Organizes
A meeting was held on Tuesday and the Patricia Hockey Club was organized to enter the Provincial league with the following officers.
Hon. President, Mayor Cowan; president J.A. Wetmore; vice-president, H.S. Pollock; 2nd vice-president, E.C. Rossie; secretary-treasurer; A. Smith. Committee, W. Molisky, W. Broadfoot, E. Cameron, M. Wingham. Patrons, A.G. Teviss, J. Retos, J. Kain. Coaches, Freddie Wilson, Walter Molisky. Manager, Wm. Lea.
How the season went
The original Pats team went 5-1 in league play tying the Victorias for first place. The Pats and Victorias played in a sudden-death final and the Pats won 4-3. They then played Lumsden in the South playoffs beating them 28-4 in a 2-game total goals series. After dominating Lumsden the Pats then played Weyburn in the Provincial final and beat them 21-9 in the 2-game series.
The Pats were Provincial champions.
Introducing the 1917-18 Regina Patricia Hockey Club
Willie Molisky, the oldest player on the original Pats. The twenty-year-old right-winger was the clubs leading scorer in both the regular season and playoffs. He scored 14 goals and six assists in the regular season. He scored a whopping 24 goals in just five playoff games while adding seven assists.
L.J. “Duke” Dutkowski, a left-winger that moved to Canada at a young age. He was the Pats second-leading scorer netting 12 goals and adding two assists. In the playoffs, his play carried over scoring 13 goals and eight assists.
Frank Broadfoot, the second of three brothers. The 17-year-old center scored six goals in five regular-season games while picking up an assist. In the playoffs, he scored five goals and added three assists in five playoff games.
Fred Harding, an 18-year-old forward that played most of his time at the rover position. In six games he scored two goals and picked up three assists. He scored twice and added an assist in five playoff games.
Ernie Cameron, a 17-year-old left-winger from Regina was mostly a substitute player that played in all six regular-season games scoring twice. In four playoff games, he was held off the scoresheet.
John Molisky, a 17-year-old right-winger was a regular substitute for the Pats. He was held pointless in the regular season and scored a goal in five playoff games.
William (Bill) Broadfoot, an 18-year-old defenseman from Fergus, Ontario, was the Pats’ first captain and the oldest of three brothers. In six games he scored four goals and added four assists in the regular season. In the playoffs, he scored six goals and four assists in five games.
M.A. Wingham, an 18-year-old defenseman from Regina, scored three times and added an assist in six regular-season games. He scored twice and added two assists in five playoff games.
Norman Drechsler, an 18-year-old defenseman from Regina was a substitute player that was used sparingly. In three regular-season games and two playoff games, he was held pointless.
Millar Hackney, a 16-year-old defenseman from Perth, Ontario was a substitute on Pats. He got into four regular-season games and two playoff games. He was pointless.
Walter Broadfoot, the youngest of the three Broadfoot brothers. The 15-year-old goaltender backstopped the Pats to the Provincial championship. Going 5-1 in the regular season with a 3.50 goals-against-average and 5-0 in the playoffs with a 3.20 goals-against-average.
What has happened since
The Pats have won three Memorial Cups in 1925, 1930, and 1974. Shared the 1928 Memorial Cup (as the Monarchs) and have taken part in 12 others.
There have been over 1,200 skaters who have played at least one regular-season or playoff game. There have been over 160 goaltenders that have done the same.
The historical side of me wishes that I had more information available on the formation of the Pats. It would have been interesting to hear what the founders thought as they put the plan in place. No matter how bumpy the 103-year history has been it has turned out to be an interesting ride. There is so much more to come.