December 5th, 2021

Pats strike late to get past Hurricanes in overtime

By Dale Woodard on November 25, 2021.

In the span of a few seconds and one very quick transition, the Regina Pats snagged a last-second, second point from the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

The Pats got past the Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime in Western Hockey League action Wednesday night at the Enmax Centre.

On a night when Hurricanes fans were getting their first glimpse of Pats phenom Connor Bedard, the second-year forward literally saved the best for last, burying the game-winner on the power play with one second left in the three-on-three overtime to earn the win.

With the Canes killing a late overtime infraction to Nolan Bentham for throwing the stick, Lethbridge forward Justin Hall busted away on an odd-man rush, but his missed chance cued a three-on-one back the other way with five seconds to go as Regina’s Cole Dubinsky sifted a pass past Hurricanes defenseman Joe Arntsen and over to Bedard, who tapped the feed past goaltender Bryan Thomson.

With the OT loss, the Hurricanes are 7-10-1-0 and move into a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with the Swift Current Broncos (6-11-2-1).

The Pats improve to 9-10-0-0 and into fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

The game was also a homecoming for Lethbridge product Zack Stringer, who was traded to the Pats in the summer. However, Stringer’s night ended early when he was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for cross checking with 6:20 left in the second period.

Both goalies were kept busy on the night as Pats netminder Matthew Kieper stopped 40 of 42 shots and Thomson kicked out 32 of 35.

The Canes battled back to force overtime after the Pats took a 2-0 lead early in the first period on a pair of goals from Alex Geci, his first two of the season.

Geci scored 1:11 in, but the Canes nearly knotted it up soon after as Noah Boyko rattled an odd-man rush shot off the left post and out to keep it 1-0 for the Pats.

Geci scored again at the 7:17 mark of the first for a 2-0 Pats lead.

The Hurricanes responded with another close-in chance, but Kieper was able to keep a pad down and stone Canes forward Logan Wormald to the left of the Regina net.

The Hurricanes got on the board and pulled within one later in the first period after some lengthy pressure as Boyko slammed home a rebound for his sixth of the season to make to 2-1 Regina at 12:49.

The Hurricanes got the first power play of the night when Drew Englot was whistled down for hooking.

The Pats nearly went up 3-1 as Cole Carrier got away on a partial break, but was turned aside by Thomson to keep it 2-1, also preventing the Canes from giving up their seventh shorthanded goal of the season.

The teams skated through a scoreless second period as the Pats killed off a three-minute powerplay after Stringer was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for cross checking Hurricanes defenceman Trevor Thurston in the face.

The Canes came close on the man advantage as Kieper turned aside Peter Repcik on an in-close chance and Yegor Klavdiev rattled a shot off the post, but the shots stayed out as Regina kept their one-goal lead intact heading into the final period.

The Hurricanes pulled even 1:11 into the third and Wormald added to his early-season points total with a powerplay goal to even things up at 2-2.

The Hurricanes nearly took the lead midway through the third, but Kieper slid across the crease to deny Jett Jones on a juicy rebound to keep it 2-2.

Then with the final seconds ticking off the clock in OT, Bedard scored his 10th of the season for the winner.

Boyko added an assist for a two-point night and was plus-one.

The Hurricanes were 1-for-6 on the power play and the Pats went 1-for-4 with the man advantage.

Wednesday’s announced attendance was 2,927.

The Hurricanes continue their homestand Friday night when the Edmonton Oil Kings – who beat the Red Deer Rebels 5-3 Friday night in Edmonton – pay a visit to the Enmax Centre at 7 p.m.

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