Pats drop third period lead in loss to Thunderbirds

The Pats gave up a 2-1 lead in the third period of their game Friday night versus Seattle, surrendering three unanswered goals in a 4-2 Thunderbirds win.

Down 1-0 after the first, Regina scored twice in the second period with Zack Smith’s eighth of the season getting things started. Moments later, Josh Paulhus tipped in his first WHL goal to give Regina a lead they carried into the third.

The Thunderbirds erased Regina’s lead a couple minutes into the third thanks to a Kelti Jeri-Leon’s 18th marker of the year to tie it at two goals. Near the halfway point of the period, Jeri-Leon put Seattle back on top with his second of the night.

Simon Kubicec scored near the 13 minute mark to give the T-Birds a 4-2 lead, enough to see them through with a win at home.

Pats head coach and assistant general manager Dave Struch said on his 620 CKRM post-game interview that a depleted lineup gave the younger guys experience, but there were some mistakes that costed them the two points.

“Those were the cause for a couple of our goals but they were experiences they had to go through,” noted Struch. “It’s twofold. You want them to experience that kind of stuff, but in the end, they were mistakes when we had a 2-1 lead.”

Donovan Buskey pushed aside 26 shots in net for Regina.

It has been several days since the Pats have played a home game. However they’re back at the Brandt Centre for three straight after Saturday night’s conclusion of their U.S. Division road trip in Spokane against the Chiefs.

Listen on 620 CKRM with the pre-game show at 8:35 p.m.; puck drop is at 9:00 p.m.

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