By Colton Hordichuk – ReginaPats.com
After going 1-3-0-0 on their 4-game road trip, the Regina Pats returned home to face-off against their northern Saskatchewan rivals, the Saskatoon Blades.
Without leading scorer Trent Oullette in the lineup, the Pats stormed out of the gate early. The Blades took a pair of minor penalties at 19:49 and 19:15 of the first period and gave the Blue and White a 5-on-3 man advantage. The Pats drew first blood when Lane Scheidl scored from Colby Williams and Morgan Klimchuk on the Pats’ first shot of the game at 18:15. As the Blades responded with relentless pressure, Pats’ defenseman Colby Williams took an awkward hit and left the game midway through the first period. The Blue and White killed off two penalties in the late stages of the first with help from goaltender Matt Hewitt. Hewitt stopped all 16 shots he faced in the first and maintained the Pats’ 1-0 lead going into the second period.
Three minutes into the second period, both teams took tripping penalties and were forced to play 4-on-4. As time wound down, the Blades got on the board on a slick goal from Josh Nicholls with assists from Dalton Thrower and Shane McColgan.
The only thing absent from the second period, were whistles. Both teams played continuously, moving the puck back and forth until the Pats found themselves trapped in their own end prior to the media break. Almost immediately after the break, Nicholls struck again for the Blades with his second goal of the game to put the Blades ahead 2-1. In the final minutes of the second, Pats’ captain Colton Jobke threw a hit sparking a six player scrum. Jobke got two minutes for boarding and five for fighting and was sent to the dressing room for the remainder of the period. The second period ended with the Blue and White trailing the Blades 2-1.
The teams picked up the physical play in the third period. Over halfway through the frame, both teams took off-setting minors that resulted in two minutes of 4-on-4 play. The Pats laid pressure on the Blades and were rewarded with their efforts with Lane Scheidl’s second goal of the game from Morgan Klimchuk and Colton Jobke at 7:50, evening up the score 2-2. Fifty-three seconds later, the Pats were penalized again after Colten Mayer collided with the Blades tender, and Shane McColgan responded for the visitors with a powerplay go-ahead tally from Darren Dietz and Matthew Pufahl.
The Blue and White dominated the play in final five minutes of the third period, and forced the Blades to take a time out. Down 3-2, the Pats pulled Hewitt in hopes that an extra attacker could even up the score. The last minute efforts were there, but the Pats failed to capitalize with their net empty and the horn concluded the 3-2 game in favor of the Blades.
1. Josh Nicholls – 2G
2. Lane Scheidl – 2G
3. Shane McColgan – 1G 1A