The Regina Pats got a hattrick from Cole Sanford and a three assist night from Adam Brooks and beat the Kootenay Ice 5-3 on Wednesday.
In the first period the Kootenay Ice came within an inch of opening the scoring just 33 seconds in when Zak Zborosky cut to the middle and put a back hand shot off the cross bar and it stayed out. He did however draw a penalty on the play and the Pats went to the penalty kill. That’s when they opened they opened the scoring. Adam Brooks fed Austin Wagner on left wing and he fired home his 25th and league leading 7th short handed goal of the year at 2:02 to make it 1-0 Regina. Brooks with the initial helper extended his point streak to 16 games which is the longest of the year in the WHL. The Pats got their first powerplay a few minutes later and made it a 2-0 game. Cole Sanford used a defender as a screen and ripped in his 34th from the right circle at 7:09. Connor Hobbs and Adam Brooks the assists and the Pats extended their streak to 10 games with a powerplay goal. The Ice responded after that when Zak Zborosky tipped in a point shot for his 26th from Cale Fleury and Jesse Zaharichuk at 10:24 and it was 2-1. The Pats got that one back late in the frame when Cole Sanford skated into the offensive zone on the right wing and fired a seeing eye shot into the top corner for his second of the night and 35th of the year at 18:32 to make it 3-1. Sean Richards and Connor Hobbs the helpers and the Pats took the 3-1 lead to the break. Regina led on the shot clock 17-12 in the period.
In the second the Pats got it to 4-1 when Lane Zablocki banged in a rebound for his 15th with assists to Chase Harrison and Adam Brooks at 4:09. 28 seconds later however the Ice got their second of the night. A weird play at the side of the goal ended up with the puck squeaking across the goal line at 4:37. Eli Lieffers credited with his first WHL goal in his first WHL game with assists to Tanner Lyschynsky and Noah Philp and it was 4-2. Kootenay got to within a goal at 9:03 when Reed Morrison tipped a point shot through the 5-hole of Tyler Brown for his first the WHL from Cale Fleury and Dallas Hines and it was 4-3. That’s the way the game stayed through the rest of the period and the Pats took the one goal lead to the break. The Ice outshot Regina 14-11 in the period but the Pats led 28-26 overall.
In the third the Pats clamped things down until the final minutes when the Ice pulled Wyatt Hoflin for the extra attacker. That’s when Cole Sanford completed his first hattrick as a Regina Pat into an empty cage. His 36th of the year at 19:19 and it was 5-3. That was the final score, the Pats outshot Kootenay 18-6 in the period and 46-32 in the game. The win snapped a three games slide for the Pats and combined with the Blades loss the magic number to clinch the playoffs is two points.
The Pats powerplay was 1 for 3 in the win and the penalty kill was 4 for 4 on the penalty kill.
The third star of the game went to the Pats Adam Brooks who had a three assist night and extended his point streak to 16 games with 7 goals and 29 assists in that stretch. The second star went to Kootenay’s Zak Zborosky who had a goal in the loss and the first star went to the Pats Cole Sanford who had the hatrick.
The Pats return to action on Friday night at home to the Swift Current Broncos at the Brandt Centre at 7 o’clock.
Here are the radio highlights: http://bit.ly/1TpWSv8
Post game interview with Goaltending Coach Rob Muntain: http://bit.ly/1WVSGkE
Post game interview with forward Lane Zablocki: http://bit.ly/1TpX0e5