The Regina Pats completed a perfect opening weekend of the 2023-24 regular season thanks to a 5-1 victory over the Saskatoon Blades.
Brayden Barnett led the scoring for the regiment with a pair of goals. Tanner Howe, Borya Valis and Braxton Whitehead also found the back of the net. Tye Spencer chipped in with two assists.
Kelton Pyne made 29 saves to pick up his first win of the year.
Howe opened the scoring in the first on the powerplay with a one-timer.
After the Blades, Jordan Keller replied with a powerplay goal of his own. Barnett regained the lead for the Pats in the second period after Spencer forced a turnover and found Barnett in front.
The Martensville product scored his second goal of the night, driving to the net and delivering with a backhand shot.
Another Pats turnover led to another goal. This time, Valis was the recipient of the Blades mistake.
Whitehead would finish the scoring with a long-distance empty netter to send the Pats fans home happy on opening night.
Regina has exploded for 12 goals in their first two games. During their four preseason games, the Pats combined to score six goals.
Head Coach Brad Herauf credits their early success to the team’s depth and work ethic.
“We knew it was going to be a committee thing and we knew it was going to be through hard work and pressure.” said Herauf. “We got good players, we get ourselves into scoring opportunities, we’re going to execute.”
The Pat’s first win at the Brandt Centre this season comes against Saskatoon, who eliminated Regina in the first round of the WHL Playoffs.
Barnett was happy to get a small measure of revenge against the Blades for last year’s exit.
Pyne also noted that redemption from last season was on the minds of the Pats, with April 10 written on the board as a reminder of last year’s result.
Regina returns to action on Wednesday night when they host the Moose Jaw Warriors, opening faceoff at 7:00.