It didn’t take long for the Pats to get back into the win column.
After the Swift Current Broncos snapped Regina’s four-game winning streak, the Pats bounced right back less than 24 hours later with a 4-1 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders.
Head coach John Paddock said he’s definitely noticing an extra jump from his players, especially in the last three games, but even as far back as Christmas.
“We’re just … dialed in. Paying attention to detail,” he said.
Paddock pointed to improved play by some of his best players – singling out the work of Cale Fleury – especially over the last two games.
“When players’ level picks up, especially good players’ level picks up, it brings everybody else along. I think players are playing better individually and collectively,” he said.
Robbie Holmes started the game off on the right foot with a goal just 37 seconds into the opening frame and the Pats kept the pressure on from their peppering 21 shots on Raiders goaltender Ian Scott in the first period alone.
The Pats took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, but things slowed down in the second, in part because they took five penalties during the period.
Fortunately, the penalty kill was able to hold Prince Albert off, and they hit the third period still up by Holmes’ early goal.
Forward Jake Leschyshyn said the team went into the locker room knowing they needed to be better in the third.
“We knew we had to win that game so it was just getting down to the basics and just grinding out that win any way possible,” he said.
Leschyshyn played his part in the equation scoring twice in the third, including an empty-netter with 6:28 left in the game.
Bryan Lockner also scored his third goal in three games.
Back-to-back penalties in the third allowed the Raiders to get one back late in the period on a five-on-three power play, but the Pats held them off for the final two and half minutes to seal the win.
The Pats have now won five of their last six games and look like a rejuvenated team.
Leschyshyn said they feel like one too.
“It was tough times before the break we wanted to kind of start a new culture, get back to the basics, just basing our game off work ethic and playing simple that’s what we’re looking for right now,” he explained.
“When you get back and everyone is playing their roles it’s a more confident group as you see out there.”
Leschyshyn also took the time to brighten a young fan’s night.
After being named the first star of the game Leschyshyn returned to the ice to acknowledge the crowd and handed his stick off to a young boy who couldn’t wait to show his mom his new treasure.
“It’s just a little thing but when you see the smile on a kid’s face like that, it’s awesome,” Leschyshyn said.
The Pats are back in action on Wednesday night at the Brandt Centre versus the Edmonton Oil Kings. Puck Drop is at 7 p.m.
- Jake Leschyshyn – Regina Pats (2 goals, 1 assist)
- Cole Dubinsky – Regina Pats (1 assist)
- Bryan Lockner – Regina Pats (1 goal)