Just five days ago the Pats were up against the wall.
Saturday night they were celebrating by belting out Bohemian Rhapsody in the locker room.
The number one team in the entire CHL was just one loss away from being eliminated from the playoffs. The Pats were down 3-1 to the Swift Current Broncos and to many, a game seven seemed nearly impossible.
Not to the Pats.
“We just believed in that room, we believe in each other,” said Austin Wagner, who scored two goals in the Pats 5-3 win. “We know what we can do in that room and we know the capabilities of each other.”
The Pats may have been down Saturday, they fell behind 3-1 early in the second period, but they showed they definitely weren’t out.
After two early goals in the second period put the Pats on their heels they were a bit deflated, but they kept on pushing.
In the last 90 seconds of the second period, Josh Mahura and then Wyatt Sloboshan got past the Broncos goaltender Jordan Papirny. Just like that the whole tide of the game changed.
“It was one of those things you get one, you get two and all of the sudden, if there is such a thing as momentum, and I think there is, we had it and we carried it over,” said head coach John Paddock.
After the intermission, Austin Wagner notched his second goal of the game just over a minute into the period to give the Pats the lead; the team didn’t look back.
Five minutes later, Filip Ahl shot from the top of the faceoff circle and got past Papirny.
It was a stupendous amount of production – four goals total – for a line that had really only played two games together. Sloboshan had moved up to centre the second line after Adam Brooks was injured and Ahl had missed several games due to illness.
“I think it was Filip Ahl’s best game all season … he was a force. Wags (Wagner) was a force. Wyatt was working like he’s worked every game of the playoffs but he got rewarded for it,” said Paddock. “I wouldn’t say we were waiting for it, but we needed it, and without Adam (Brooks) we needed them as a line … It was very important.”
The 5-3 lead held through a Broncos powerplay, and two and a half minutes with an extra attacker as Papirny went to the bench.
A vocal minority of Pats fans, who made the two and a half hour trek to Swift Current, were cheering as the clock ticked down knowing they’ll be able to return home to watch game seven on Monday.
“It does feel nice,” said goaltender Tyler Brown about being able to return to Regina for the final game of the series. “(The fans) were great last game and we’re excited to come back and play.”
Tickets for game seven go on sale Sunday at noon.
The game will be played Monday night at 7 p.m. at the Brandt Centre.