As the playoffs near, every point is valuable and the ICE left Regina Wednesday night with two in their back pocket. Winnipeg used their game-in-hand over Brandon, to pass Brandon in the standings. That currently gives Winnipeg home ice advantage in the first round over their provincial rivals in a potential first round match up.
First star of the night, Michal Teply, set up the opening goal and the eventual game winner. He then scored the 5th of the night for the ICE as they used a four goal third period to cruise to a 6-2 win. The 18-year-old rookie extended his lead in the rookie scoring race to four points over Edmonton’s 16-year-old Dylan Guenther.
Owen Pederson opened the scoring in the first period for the ICE. He deposited a rebound from a Michal Teply shot that Donovan Buskey couldn’t handle. Pats rookie defenceman Jake Johnson responded with his second goal of the year, as he snuck a one-timer through the legs of Liam Hughes to tie the game.
In the second period it was another goal from a Pats defenceman, this time Nikita Sedov. Austin Pratt grabbed the puck in the corner and found a wide open Sedov at the point, who walked in and found room in the top corner for his fifth of the season. Then came the turning point, with only seconds left in the period the Pats gave up an odd man rush and Isaac Johnson was able to score with five seconds to go. It was shades of last game versus Saskatoon where the Blades scored with five seconds left in the first period after the Pats had jumped out to a 3-0 lead. The late goal kick started the Blades into a three goal second period that night.
“I think it was definitely the turning point in the game. I think that it’s pretty hard to look past. For it to happen again, that’s really something we need to hone in on and understand that it’s hurting us. We got to be better,” said Pats defenceman Zach Wytinck postgame.
Wednesday night was no different as the ICE scored early and often in the third period. Carson Lambos, the ICE rookie defenceman, scored the eventual game winner just 1:37 in. Then goals from Cole Muir, Michal Teply and Michael Milne sealed the victory for the ICE.
Pats head coach Dave Struch commented on the late goal in the second period saying “from that point right to the final buzzer every goal scored, it was individuals being selfish and it cost us the game tonight.”
The Pats were short a few bodies on the night. Robbie Holmes and Carter Chorney were out due to suspension. Logan Nijhoff and Makai Mitchell were out with illness. “We missed him (Nijhoff), we missed Robbie Holmes and Carter Chorney. Those are three guys that play a hard game, they play a team game. With those guys out of the lineup, we were hoping that some of the younger guys that get more opportunity would step up. Unfortunately that didn’t happen tonight,” said Struch.
The ICE are now 5-0 versus the Pats. Regina has collected two points in the five games, one in an overtime loss and one in a shootout loss.
Liam Hughes stopped 18-of-20 shots in the victory.
Donovan Buskey made 31 saves on 37 shots in the loss.
The ICE were 1-for-3 on the power play, the Pats 0-for-3.
Winnipeg’s Peyton Krebs now has a four game point streak (2G, 7A) and 19 points (3G, 16A) in his last 11 games.
Michal Teply also has a four game point streak, with three goals and four assists.
Issac Johnson has a four game goal scoring streak.
The Pats drop to 8-6-3 in their last 17 home games.
Carter Chroney will be eligible to return to action on Friday after serving his three game suspension. Robbie Holmes will sit out Friday, his fourth game, and be eligible to play on Saturday.
Next up for Regina is a weekend road trip to Manitoba. Friday night they visit Brandon and then Winnipeg on Saturday.