The Regina Pats gave themselves a little bit of breathing room in the standings thanks to a 6-3 win over the Medicine Hat.
With the win over the Tigers and the Calgary Hitmen’s loss earlier in the day, the Pats are in sole possession for sixth spot in the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Conference.
Connor Bedard matched a career high with six points on the night as he had a goal and five assists. With the five assists, Bedard now has sole possession for the most assists (59) in the WHL. He also leads the league in goals (52) and points (111).
Tanner Howe had a four-point night with a pair of goals and a pair of assists. For the second straight game, Howe scored the game-winning goal in the opening seconds of the third period, as he scored seven seconds into the third against the Tigers. The 17-year-old now has a career high 28 goals on the season. Stanislav Svozil collected his 100th WHL point with the assist on the goal.
The third member of the top line for the Pats, Zack Stringer added a goal and an assist.
Sam Oremba and Tye Spencer also scored for Regina.
Drew Sim picked up the win between the crease as he made 26 saves.
Tensions began to boil in the final few minutes of the game. Pats defenceman Luke Bateman created a buzz when he delivered a big hit, but was called for charging. Shortly after he returned to the ice, Bateman and Rhett Parsons of the Tigers got into a heavyweight tilt with both sides landing some big blows, but Bateman delivered the final one.
Both sides exchanged words at the benches following the buzzer, but cooler heads prevailed before anything further transpired.
After the game, Assistant Coach Brad Herauf said it felt like a playoff game against Medicine Hat and the Pats were able to provide a positive response with a 60 minute effort.
“That was probably the closest one we had in a long time for us here in a long time.”
Herauf said Svozil’s assist on Howe’s game winning goal shows the skill he possesses.
“I’m not sure there’s a better passer in the league. ”
Svozil said the entire team was clicking on Wednesday night.
“We played good offensively, defensively in the neutral zone, goalie played good, out power-play and penalty kill was good, so I think pretty much everything.”
The Columbus Blue Jackets prospect added that he was happier with the team’s win as opposed to his own individual achievement.
Another pair of playoff-like games should be awaiting the Pats this weekend when they meet the Brandon Wheat Kings on back-to-back nights.
On Friday, the two teams will meet in Brandon. Coverage of the game begins on 620 CKRM beginning with the pre-game show at 6:35.
The following night the two teams will square off at the Brandt Centre in a Saturday night tilt. 620 CKRM will have coverage of that game as well, beginning at 6:35.