PAT CANADIANS SCORE FOUR IN SECOND PERIOD, HOLD ON FOR FIRST WIN
JASON LA ROSE
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Chase Nemeth and Carson Denomie had a goal and an assist apiece, and the Regina Pat Canadians used a four-goal second period to earn their first win at the 2017 TELUS Cup, 6-4 over the Leduc Oil Kings on Thursday afternoon.
The victory leaves Regina (1-2-1) just a single point behind Leduc (2-2) in the race for the semifinals. Both teams will watch the other two Thursday games closely to see where they stand heading into the final day of the preliminary round.
The Pat Canadians spread around the offence, with 12 different players recording a point, and no one registered more than two. Nathan Moore got the win in goal, making 22 saves.
Looking to confirm its spot in the semis, Leduc opened the scoring off the stick of Tyler Schendel, who spun 360 degrees to take a pass at centre before dangling his way around a Regina defenceman and tucking the puck past Moore for the 1-0 goal at 11:17.
Matthew Chekay responded for the Pat Canadians 1:34 later, jamming in a loose puck, but Ryan Straschnitzki finished a pretty cross-ice feed from Tyler Smithies for an Oil Kings power-play goal with 1:43 left in the period, sending the Pacific Region champions to the dressing room up 2-1.
Regina turned it up in the second period, scoring four times in less than nine minutes.
Nameth was first at 6:26, beating Leduc goaltender Easton Hesse with a quick shot, and Jordan Kazymyra converted a tic-tac-toe passing play at 11:45 to give the Pat Canadians their first lead.
Denomie followed that just 52 seconds later, beating Hesse to the near post on a wraparound, and Lees redirected in a pass from Lukas Sillinger at 15:31 to make it 5-2 Regina.
Colby Wolter got one back for Leduc and stemmed the Pat Canadians’ momentum before the end of the middle frame, beating Moore on the blocker side only 27 seconds after the Lees goal.
Penalty trouble for both teams early in the third period meant very few stretches of five-on-five play, although neither could convert on their power-play chances.
Breydon Berthold made it interesting with 2:25 to go, jumping onto the ice on a delayed penalty and beating Moore off a set-up from Smithies, but Regina captain Alex Kannok-Leipert found the empty net with 4.6 ticks on the clock to finish the scoring.
Regina will look to keep its playoff chances alive when it faces the Cape Breton West Islanders on Friday morning (10 a.m. PT), while Leduc will try and book its semifinal spot against the Blizzard du Séminaire Saint-François (2 p.m. PT).