Pats drop 5-2 decision to Winnipeg Ice

The experience of the Winnipeg Ice was too much for the young Regina Pats at the Brandt Centre on Saturday afternoon.

The Pats lost 5-2 to the Ice, dropping their second in a row and bringing their record down to 4-6-2.

Head Coach Dave Struch says the Pats’ youth got exposed against a veteran Winnipeg team.

“We couldn’t handle their 12 high-end forwards , and that’s in a nut shell really,” Struch said. “We know that we want to get the puck in deep against these guys, take advantage of their young defencemen, and (Saturday) there was not enough of that from our young guys.”

The Ice opened the scoring 1:52 into the first period with a goal from Skyler Bruce.

That score held until 26 seconds into the second period, when Connor McClennon scored his sixth of the season on the powerplay.

Jakin Smallwood added to the lead with his ninth of the season with just 1:11 left in the second period, giving the Ice a 3-0 lead after two periods.

The Pats finally responded with a goal from Logan Nijhoff on the powerplay roughly five minutes into the third period, but it was answered two-and-a-half minutes later by Conor Geekie with his own powerplay goal.

Carson Denomie scored the Pats’ second goal of the game on the powerplay, with assists from Connor Bedard and Carter Chorney, allowing Bedard to extend his point streak to 12 games.

Zachary Benson scored on the powerplay for the Ice to close out the scoring with 3:22 left in the third period.

Pats’ Captain Logan Nijhoff says it was a tough result.

“We knew going in if we didn’t get pucks in deep, they were going to capitalize with their offence, and we kind of got away from that and that cost us the game for sure,” Nijhoff said. “There’s a lot of positives, a lot of in-zone time, as well as our powerplay was doing pretty good, we just couldn’t put the puck in the net.”

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