By Colton Hordichuk – ReginaPats.com
Friday was the Regina Pats’ 7th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Night. The Blue and White sported powder blue and pink jerseys for the campaign to show their support for the cause as they faced off against the Calgary Hitmen.
The first period began fast paced between the Pats and Hitmen. Both teams tallied eight shots after only three minutes of play. Midway through the period, Pats’ tender Matt Hewitt made a sprawl-out save on a Cody Sylvester breakaway to keep the score deadlocked at zero. The two teams jabbed back and forth until a fantastic partial breakaway scoring chance by the Pats’ Jack Rodewald was halted by the only penalty of frame. The Blue and White didn’t capitalize on their powerplay, and Calgary responded with a goal of their own from Carson Samoridny from Sylvester and Brooks Macek with 5:11 left in the period. The first period concluded with the Pats’ behind 15-11 in shots and down 1-0 on the scoreboard.
Calgary controlled the rate of play in the first seven minutes of the second period, but a Hitmen penalty slowed down their offensive attack and allowed the Pats to go on the powerplay. The Blue and White were unable to make good of their chances and shortly after the Hitmen killed off the penalty, the physical play picked up in a big way for both teams with big open ice hits and strong work along the boards.
Midway through the period it seemed Hewitt had covered the puck, but a delayed whistle allowed play to continue that resulted in a scrum that ended up with Pats’ Henry Hardarson in the box for roughing. Calgary capitalized on their first powerplay of the game with a goal from Spencer Humphries assisted by Carson Samoridny and Joey Kornelsen with 3:59 left in the period. With just under three minutes left in the frame, Kade Pilton got the Pats on the board with a goal from Adam Brooks. The second period concluded with the Pats behind 2-1.
Both teams started the third period 4-on-4 with offsetting roughing minors from Pats’ Pilton and Calgary’s Darian Henry at the end of the second. Once both teams were back to 5-on-5, the crowd at the Brandt Centre rallied behind the Pats to motivate the Blue and White to find an equalizer. Hitmen’s Darian Henry took two consecutive penalties in the third period that generated two Pats’ powerplays. The Blue and White failed to cash in on the opportunities, which allowed the Hitmen to maintain their 2-1 lead with five minutes left in the third. The Pats called Hewitt to the bench and the Hitmen’s Brooks Macek tallied two empty-netters to put the Hitmen ahead 4-1 to close out the Friday night game.
1. Chris Driedger – 30 Svs
2. Matt Hewitt – 28 Svs
3. Brooks Macek – 2G, 1A