It was only the sixth win of a shortened 24-game season, but it may be the biggest emotional victory the Regina Pats have had since they won the Memorial Cup semi-final in 2018.
Playing with a heavy heart on Friday afternoon, 15-year-old Connor Bedard scored twice including the winner in overtime for a 2-1 win. The game was not only Bedard’s last in a Pats uniform this year, but it was the first game he has played since the tragic death of his grandfather who died in a two-car collision this week in British Columbia.
Bedard had been given the opportunity to fly home after finding out about the tragedy, but he told the club he wanted to stay for Friday’s game and play as a tribute to Garth Bedard.
After scoring the overtime winner, Bedard looked to the sky and pointed before being mobbed by his teammates by the Pats bench. He said his grandfather was definitely on his mind.
“I obviously really wanted that one to just honour him.” Bedard said after the game.
He leaves the Pats to get ready to play for Canada at the World Under 18’s later this month having registered 12 goals and 16 assists for a league-leading 28 points in 15 games played.
“It will be one of the coolest things ever to wear the Maple Leaf.” Bedard told Pats play-by-play man Phil Andrews. “Getting the chance to put that jersey on will be so surreal and so special. I am looking forward to the opportunity.
The Pats, who improved to 6-6-2-1 with the win, will be back on the ice Monday night at 6 when they play the Winnipeg Ice in a game you can hear on 620 CKRM.