The script is one victory away from being completed.
The Regina Pats wanted their 100th Anniversary Season to end with the team hoisting the Memorial Cup at the end of the tournament. They will get that chance Sunday afternoon in what will be the biggest hockey game to be played in the history of the Brandt Centre,
On Friday night before a sold-out crowd, the Pats defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs 4-2 in the Mastercard Memorial Cup semi-final in a game that was a classic hard-fought contest between the host team and the champions of the Ontario Hockey League.
Sam Steel scored what proved to be the game-winner at the 14:05 mark as the Pats held on to record the victory and advance to the final (5 PM on the WOLF 104.9) against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
Sam Steel puts the Pats up by two late in the game!
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 26, 2018
Cameron Hebig had his 4th of the tournament to give Regina a 2-1 lead 11 minutes into the second period. Hebig, who didn’t miss a shift after a ferocious hit by Riley Stillman at centre ice in the first period, says they haven’t gotten the prize yet, but they have silenced their critics.
“I think a little bit,” Hebig said. “We can use that as a motivator though right, so we took that as motivation and shoved back in their face so that’s a nice win for sure.”
The star of the game was 17-year-old goalie Max Paddock. He stopped 44 shots including 22 in the third period alone. He says there was a theme of desperation to their game and it showed.
“I’ve seen us play with a lot of desperation, but not quite like that. ” Paddock said. “We really wanted to win. We didn’t want our season to end tonight. We wanted to live to play another day so we did whatever we could to do that. As for me, I kind of stepped up. I knew I had to be good today, but my job is to give our team a chance to win.”
Hamilton coach John Gruden says it was a tough way for his team to go out, but he was more than quick to praise the Pats for picking up their second victory over his team in the four-team event.
“All the credit goes to the Regina team,” Gruden said. “They earned it. They did all the little things right.”
— The WHL (@TheWHL) May 26, 2018
Before the game, Humboldt Broncos president Kevin Garinger and the parents of Broncos athletics therapist Dayna Brons were given a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd. Brons was one of the 16 people killed in last month’s bus crash.
1st Game Period-1, Regina, Pratt 1 (Oksanen, Bradley), 5:22. Penalties-Garagan Ham (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 6:49; Holmes Reg (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 6:49; Stillman Ham (roughing), 17:22.
2nd Game Period-2, Hamilton, Mattinen 1 (Gleason, Saigeon), 7:35. 3, Regina, Hebig 4 (Mahura), 11:00. Penalties-Schioler Reg (high sticking, high sticking), 2:59; Lemcke Ham (major-fighting), 11:27; Platt Reg (major-fighting), 11:27; Mattinen Ham (interference), 12:23; Bradley Reg (roughing), 20:00.
3rd Game Period-4, Regina, Steel 2 14:05. 5, Hamilton, Bitten 1 (Gleason), 15:18. 6, Regina, Leschyshyn 1 (Steel), 19:55 (EN). Penalties-Gleason Ham (slashing), 1:12; Leschyshyn Reg (hooking), 7:45.
Shots on Goal-Hamilton 10-14-22-46. Regina 11-8-5-24.
Power Play Opportunities-Hamilton 0/4; Regina 0/3.
Goalies-Hamilton, Fulcher 2-2-0-0 (23 shots-20 saves). Regina, Paddock 3-0-0-0 (46 shots-44 saves).
Referees-Quincy Evans (7), Jeff Ingram (82).
Linesmen-Sylvain Losier (71), Tarrington Wyonzek (137).