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Teubert giving Pats a presence on the blue line

by Aaron Bell

Regina Pats defenseman Colton Teubert
was on the Canadian junior team that faced Russia in the CHL's ADT Challenge
The extra attention Colton Teubert received last Thursday didn’t bother the Regina Pats’ rock-solid defenseman in the least.

Last Thursday’s game was part of the Canadian Hockey League’s ADT Challenge against a squad of Russian juniors. Teubert ended the contest with a bone-jarring hit; the Russians took exception to the late check and a melee ensued, with practically every player on the ice participating.

As far as Teubert was concerned, he was just doing his job. The Russians cruised to a 5-1 win, but Teubert’s hit set the tone for the Western Hockey League’s 4-1 win the following night in the series finale.

Teubert, who was rated third among WHL prospects in the NHL Central Scouting preliminary rankings that were released last month, said he enjoyed putting his stamp on the latest chapter of the storied Canada-Russia hockey rivalry.

“It was unreal,” the White Rock, British Columbia native said. “Just to see all the Russians and all their dangles and turn-backs and stuff like that. It’s definitely not the Canadian way of hockey, but to evaluate yourself against those types of players was a great experience.”

The 6-foot-3, 188-pound Teubert takes pride in his stout defensive game and loved the challenge of playing against the speedy Russians.

“Their speed was phenomenal,” said Teubert, who also represented Canada in the Under-18 championships in August. “Just being able to gap up on guys that can dangle you in a second gives you a step on other guys.”

Teubert and Pats teammate Nick Ross were the only two defensemen that played in the series’ two WHL games, which also included two games against a squad from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and two against an Ontario Hockey League team. Teubert didn’t pick up a point in the two WHL games, but was on the ice for two WHL goals in the final game and was his usual dependable self in his own end.

“He did a good job as a young guy of just keeping it simple and playing his game,” said Pats assistant coach Terry Perkins.

Teubert doesn’t score many points, but his ability to shut down opposing forwards is a sought-after commodity among NHL scouts, who gush about his ability to play a similar style in the NHL.

“I just want to be a shut-down guy,” Teubert told Junior Hockey Magazine. “I try to throw some offense in here and there, but definitely just blocking shots and playing physical and setting the tone for the game.”

He is part of an impressive Pats blue line that also includes Ross, a Phoenix Coyotes prospect, Logan Pyett and Matt Delahey, who was rated 16th among WHL prospects in the preliminary rankings.

Teubert’s physical style often sets the tone for the Pats’ play at home and on the road. He said making big hits in the defensive zone tends to make it difficult for opposing forwards to focus on setting up offensive chances.

Colton Tuebert has five points and 63 penalty minutes in 28 games this season.

“It just puts some doubt in their minds,” said Teubert, who has two goals and five points to go along with his team-leading 63 penalty minutes in 28 games. “They know that the Regina Pats have a great (defense) corps and just know that every time they are coming out of their zone that they know they are going to get hit.”

Teubert’s physical play drew the ire of their provincial rival Moose Jaw Warriors last month. He drilled Warriors captain Riley Holzapfel with an open-ice blast that forced Holzapfel to miss six games with a concussion. Teubert drew a two-game suspension for the hit but vowed not to let it soften his approach to the game.

“Plain and simple, I’m not changing the way I play,” Teubert told the Regina Leader-Post before the rematch against Moose Jaw on Nov. 2. “It’s not like I was going out there intending to hurt anybody. Stuff happens. It’s part of the game.”

Teubert was the silver lining in the Pats’ 12-win season in 2004-05. They missed the playoffs for the first time in six years, but used the first overall pick in the Bantam draft to scoop up Teubert from the Semiahmoo Bantams in B.C.

After a recent three-game losing streak, the Pats have won three of their past four games and are tied with the Brandon Wheat Kings for first place in the East Division.

“The Pats have been doing great,” said Teubert, who is helping the team celebrate its 90th season this year. “We’ve got to get as many wins as we can. We’ve got to put the stats (and rankings) behind us and just play hockey.”

Teubert has heard the rave reviews coming from the scouting fraternity. He already has been compared to NHL stars Chris Pronger and Robyn Regehr, but as his unfortunate Russian victim found out, Teubert won’t change his game because there are scouts in the building. He also recognizes there are several top-end prospects in this year’s draft class, which is being touted as one of the best ever.

“I’ve heard things like top 10, but really right now it’s not a big deal because, of course, rankings can change just like that,” Teubert said. “I’ve just got to keep playing solid and consistent.”

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