The Regina Pats fought to the end in a 3-1 home loss to the Saskatoon Blades on Friday night at the Brandt Centre.
In the first, the Blades opened the scoring just as a powerplay expired, Max Gerlach banged in his own rebound six minutes in and it was 1-0. Max Paddock had a stellar opening frame, making 16 saves and the Pats trailed by just one after 20 minutes. In the second, the Pats found their legs and outshot Saskatoon 22-14. However, the Blades extended their lead to 2-0 thanks to Gary Haden at 7:35. The Pats got that one back thanks to Sergei Alkhimov, his 11th of the year and it was 2-1 after two periods. Max Paddock had another incredible period with a save of the year candidate on Riley McKay. In the third, the Pats pressed for a tying goal and hit a post when they had the extra attacker, but the Blades held on and scored an empty netter with one second left to take the two points in a 3-1 final.
The Pats were outshot 42-35, the powerplay was oh for two, the penalty kill five for five and Max Paddock made 39 saves in a first star performance.
The Pats (13-35-1-2) will kick off a four-game road trip through the Central Division on Tuesday when they visit the Lethbridge Hurricanes at 8 p.m. on 620 CKRM.
Saskatoon – Max Gerlach (28) from Kyle Crnkovic and Dawson Davidson – 6:08.
Saskatoon – Gary Haden (22) from Chase Wouters and Max Gerlach – 7:35.
Regina – Sergei Alkhimov (11) unassisted – 15:31.
Saskatoon – Gary Haden (23) unassisted – 19:59 EN.
Shots on Goal
Regina 3-22-10-(35) Saskatoon 17-14-11-(42)
Regina 0/2 Saskatoon 0/5
– Ryker Evans returned to the lineup after missing 23 games with a lower body injury.
– Sergei Alkhimov has goals in back to back games and points in three of four.
– Max Paddock made 39 saves on 41 shots and was named the games first star.
The Pats will kick off a four-game road trip through the Central Division on Tuesday when they visit the Lethbridge Hurricanes at 8 p.m. on 620 CKRM. Next home game is Friday February 15 against the Edmonton Oil Kings at 7 p.m. at the Brandt Centre. Tickets are available at reginapats.com, the Brandt Centre Box Office and at any Regina Safeway, where Fun Zone tickets are $13 plus tax.