It stuck out as a bad omen right from the start.
Just 16 seconds into the game Brennan Menell scored on the Pats and goaltender Tyler Brown and for the rest of the game, they were trying to play catch up.
“I think we obviously didn’t come out ready to play and kudos to them they took it to us early and kept the pedal down,” said captain Adam Brooks.
The Pats did bring a lot of pressure in the first period, but as has been the story of this series Hurricanes net minder Stuart Skinner slammed the door on the Pats 13 chances, 10 of which came back-to-back.
It wasn’t until the second period that the Pats were able to even up the score. Josh Mahura fired a shot in towards the net, and Dawson Leedahl tipped it in for his ninth goal of the playoffs.
It seemed as though the Pats may have had some room to breathe, but the Hurricanes took the lead again just three minutes later with a goal from Jadon Joseph to put the Canes back up 2-1.
To make matters worse, the Pats’ top playoff scorer, Austin Wagner, left the game after a dive forward and did not return to the game. Head coach John Paddock did not update his condition once the game was over, but Brooks said they were missing him out there.
“He brings a lot to the table, he’s probably the fastest players in the CHL and plays in all situations for us so whenever you lose him for the lineup for the rest of the game it’s tough, but he’s a tough kid so we know he’ll bounce back.”
The Canes continued to pressure the Pats through the third period and four minutes in Egor Babenko gave his team a comfortable two-goal lead, assisted by Tyler Wong.
An obviously frustrated Regina team took two penalties late in the game and weren’t able to respond to the Hurricanes offence.
“Guys got to bear down, (Sam Steel) had two or three open nets on the dot there, you’ve got to score,” Paddock said.
The final score was 3-1, putting Lethbridge up 2-1 in the series.
The Pats will have to shake off Tuesday night’s loss quickly, they’re back in action in Lethbridge for game four on Wednesday night.
Puck drop is at 7 p.m. on Access 7 and Shaw TV.
— with files from Patrick Burles, Lethbridge News Now