The Regina Pats ended a three-game losing streak by beating the Prince Albert Raider 4-3 in Sunday’s late game at the Subway WHL Hub. Drew Englot’s first goal of the season proved to be the winner as the Pats tied the season series with the Raiders at 2-2. With the win the Pats moved to 7-9-2-1 and into a fourth-place tie with the Raiders who now have an identical record.
“To pot (score) that first one is just (an) unreal feeling,” said Englot of his first goal of the season. “Especially in that game too because that was a really fun game to play. A really good feeling.”
The game had all the signs of a playoff battle.
“It happens organically,” Pats head coach Dave Struch explained. “When we play physical like that against a team like them, they’re very well-coached. They’re a self-motivated team that plays hard and physical. And it was very nice to see our guys rise to that because you know when you have young guys, we’ve got a smaller group, they played intense and they took some big hits, they gave some hits. And it was rewarding at the end for our guys, for grinding it out against a really good hockey team that plays that way and plays hard.”
“I tried to say earlier (in the season), but something like that you wish would have happened in the first week or so. Because we have to learn how to play that way, we have to learn how to win that way. Because that’s probably the closest we’re gonna get to playoff hockey, this year.”
Cole Dubinsky’s two goals led the Pat attack in one of the more complete Pats games of the season.
“Oh for sure it was a really physical, hard game and it took a full 60 minutes to win,” said Dubinsky. “Obviously, those games feel really good to win because it takes every single guy on our team playing hard making plays sacrificing their body, fighting, sticking up for guys it’s rewarding when those are the ones that kind of bring teams together.”
Speaking of Dubinsky, his third goal of the season opened the scoring in the contest at 4:13 of the first. He was on the receiving end of a bouncing puck that deflected off Englot and a Raider defenseman. His easy tap-in gave the Pats a 1-0 lead heading to the first intermission.
“It’s always nice when you get a tap in to an open net,” Dubinsky said of his first goal. ”Finally, you know to get those bounces it’s nice. It went off somebody’s head and bounced right on my stick, just about in the net already and you know those ones are nice and those tend to lead to the other ones following and a little bit of momentum a little bit of confidence, keeps going, so obviously it helps a lot. If we can keep going and our team keeps doing good, and I keep doing the right things stuff will go.”
Carter Chorney hit the scoresheet as he picked up his third of the season. The right-winger went hard to the net, the puck went off his chest and past Max Paddock. The Pats had a 2-0 lead at 6:54 of the second period.
Just over two minutes later Tyson Laventure cut the Pats lead in half. He won a battle for the rebound. He buried his third goal of the season past Matthew Kieper.
Dubinsky restored the Pats’ two-goal lead when he redirected a nice pass from Sloan Stanick past the Raiders goalie. His second of the game and fourth of the season gave the Pats a 3-1 lead at 9:51.
“It definitely feels good to see a couple hit the back of the net. Obviously, it’s even better when they help your team win and it’s nice to get a little bit more of a winning mentality of your team,” Dubinsky said on scoring twice in the game. “It’s nice to see our team really starting to come together and winning games is obviously way more fun than losing so yeah.”
The Pats’ two-goal lead evaporated as the Raiders scored twice within the next six minutes. Laventure scored his second of the game after Pat defenseman Ryker Evans fell and turned over the puck. Laventure tucked home his second of the game. Tre Fouquette scored his first career goal less than two minutes later to bring the Raiders even at 3-3.
Englot picked the perfect time to score his first of the season. He ripped a wrist shot past Paddock to give the Pats a 4-3 lead late in the period. His powerplay marker at 17:59 proved to be the winner. Carson Denomie and Ryker Evans pick up the helpers.
Instead of sitting back with a one-goal lead in the third period, the Pats played hard and kept attacking. Although, they did not score the Pats took a lot of the play in the final twenty. The Raiders had a man advantage late but were unable to capitalize. The Pats held on for the 4-3 win.
“When you stick with something like that you got to make your own luck,” said Struch. “Our guys did things right. That’s just that, we did things right, we went to the net, we forechecked hard. We took hits, hard hits to make plays. We gave hits to create opportunities to defend. And obviously, both teams showed up in the fight column to support their teammates and that’s what good teammates do and that’s on both sides it’s a credit to both teams.”
“I think every win and every little bit of momentum you get can be huge on carrying on for next season,” said Dubinsky as the season starts to wind down, ”finishing this year strong. It can prove a point for us and for other teams. If we keep playing hard like we did tonight… doing the right things and goals will come. (The) better we play in our (defensive) zone and throughout the whole ice it’s going to translate to the offensive zone.”
Patterings: It was the first win for the Pats without Connor Bedard in the lineup… The Pats had scored just four times in the previous three games coming into Sunday’s game… Evans’ second-period assist extended his point streak to nine games (2G, 10A) … Kieper was solid in the Pat goal making 28 saves and moving to 3-1-0-1 on the season… Paddock was also solid in his last game against the Pats, he also stopped 28 pucks… All seven of Laventure’s points have come in the four games against the Pats… Regina’s next action is Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. against the Saskatoon Blades.