REGINA — The Regina Pats have been racking up wins lately in the Western Hockey League.
The road warrior Pats went 3-1 away from home last week and were 5-1 on the road trip. The Pats played in front of big crowds the last couple weeks as B.C. fans came out to see their home province’s Connor Bedard and his Pats teammates. For example, a standing room only crowd of 5,544 packed into Kamloops’ Sandman Centre, which was the largest announced attendance since the host’s 2019-2020 home opener. The Pats are 14-12-1-1 this season and, as of Sunday, and were sixth in the Eastern Conference.
The Pats play Friday in Prince Albert before playing at the Brandt Centre Saturday for the first time since Nov. 12. They host the Calgary Hitmen. On Sunday, the Pats are in Winnipeg to play the Ice.
On the power play on Nov. 29, Alexander Suzdalev scored the overtime winner to lift the Pats past the Kelowna Rockets, 6-5. The teams were tied at 1-1 and 3-3 at the intermissions. Andrew Cristall tied the game on the powerplay for Kelowna in last minute of the period.
Suzdalev had two goals for Regina. Also scoring for Pats were Tye Spencer, Borya Valis, Tanner Brown, and Tanner Howe. Drew Sim had 39 saves.
Cristall scored twice for the Rockets. Caden Price, Max Graham and Carson Golder also had goals for Kelowna. Rockets goalie Talyn Boyko made 28 saves.
The Pats’ three-game winning streak came to an end in a 9-3 road loss to the Kamloops Blazers on Nov. 30. The Blazers led 2-1 after the first period and then outscored the Pats 7-1 in the second session. For the game, Kamloops was two-for-seven on the powerplay, while Regina was two-for-three.
Bedard scored two goals and recorded an assist. Suzdalev had the team’s other marker. Matthew Kieper started in net for the Pats. He had 14 saves on 23 shots. Sim stopped all 10 shots he faced in relief.
Caeden Bankier and Fraser Minten each had two goals for the Blazers. Also scoring for Kamloops were Emmitt Finnie, Logan Stankoven, Matthew Seminoff, Connor Levis, and Ashton Ferster. Oil Kings goalie Dylan Ernst had 33 saves.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first period last Friday in Prince George, the Pats reeled off five straight goals en route to a 5-1 victory. Howe and Bedard scored on the powerplay for Regina. At even strength, Bedard, Easton Armstrong and Tye Spencer deposited the puck into the back of the net. Stanislav Svozil and Suzdalev each had two assists. Sim stopped all but one of the 31 shots he faced.
Caden Brown scored Prince George’s lone goal. The Cougars’ Ty Young made 24 saves.
The Pats’ offence was in high gear on Sunday as the squad romped past the Edmonton Oil Kings, 8-2. The Pats scored seven goals before the Oil Kings were able to answer – and that was not until the third period. Regina led 2-0 and 6-0 at the intermissions. Armstrong scored a hattrick, while Valis netted two goals. Bedard had a goal and five points. Also scoring for Regina were Howe, who had four points, and Suzdalev. Sim made 23 saves for the win.
Gavin Hodnett and Vojtech Port had Edmonton’s goals. Ronin Geraghty started and stopped 17 of the 23 shots the Pats sent at him. Kolby Hay came on in relief and fended off 12 of the 14 shots he faced.