REGINA — The Regina Pats are road warriors early on in this Western Hockey League season.
The squad opened its season in the friendly confines of the Brandt Centre on Sept. 23. Between then and their second home contest on Oct. 7, the Pats play five away games. The squad went 1-2-0-0 last week and, as Sunday, were 2-3-0-0 on the season.
“I think it’s good for us to have this road trip early … It’ll bring us closer together and we’ll have good team bonding on this road trip,” Pats forward Borya Valis said.
Last Thursday, the Pats earned a dramatic win in Edmonton. Regina led 3-1 early in the second period. However, the host Oil Kings scored twice in that frame, once on a power play, to knot the contest at 3-3. After a scoreless third period, Connor Bedard scored the overtime winner on a power play to lift the Pats to a 4-3 victory.
Bedard and linemate Tanner Howe both lit the lamp twice that night. Howe recorded four points. Pats goalie Drew Sim stopped 22 of the 25 shots he faced. Regina fired 37 shots at Oil Kings netminder Kolby Hay, who made 33 saves.
On Saturday in Red Deer, the Pats ad Rebels were knotted at 2-2 at the 14:41 mark in the third period after a Valis goal. Only 25 seconds later Carter Anderson scored the game winner for the Rebels, who added an insurance goal late in the contest.
Matthew Kieper had 19 saves for the Pats. His Rebels counterpart, Kyle Kelsey, turned away 33 of the 35 shots he faced. The Pats’ Cole Dubinsky and Logan Linklater both left the game due to injury.
On Sunday, the host Calgary Hitmen took a 3-0 first period lead. The Pats outscored the Hitmen, 3-1, in the second session but ended up falling 7-3. Tye Specer, Jaxson Vaughn, and Alexander Suzdalev scored for Regina. The Pats’ Koen MacInnes made 39 saves on 46 shots. Brayden Peters stopped 24 shots for Calgary.
The Pats’ road swing continues Wednesday when they are in Brandon to take on the Wheat Kings. The team returns home Friday to play the Winnipeg Ice and to host the Swift Current Broncos on Saturday.