It was just his second game in a Pats jersey, but Ryan Kubic is already attracting the attention of Pats fans.
Fresh off a 47 save game Kubic was named the first star and as he went into the tunnel was bombarded with questions and cheers from young fans wanting a piece of Regina’s new goaltender.
He took the time to greet all of them.
“It’s really important that they come and support us and for us to give back to them,” Kubic said.
“There are great fans here, the whole city they’re really supporting us and it’s definitely a change for me. I’m used to pretty empty arenas but this is definitely nice.”
Kubic anchored a new look Pats team that at times looked tentative and out of sorts, though perhaps that is to be expected with the turnover the club has had in the week.
On trade deadline day alone the Pats added four new members to their team including Kubic, Cameron Hebig, Aaron Hyman and Brady Pouteau. In the days and weeks before Libor Hajek, Austin Pratt, Jesse Gabrielle and Jonas Haskins came to Regina.
“I’m not sure we’re lacking chemistry as much as just soft and a little nonchalant, the turnovers would be the most we had all year in the neutral zone for sure,” said head coach John Paddock of the game Friday. “When you do that against a quick team like Medicine Hat you’re sort of playing Russian Roulette.”
Fortunately, Kubic was up to the challenge.
“He was excellent, clearly our best player and it was good to see,” Paddock said.
The Pats got on the board early off a shot from the point by Josh Mahura that slid past the goal line and in. Kubic stopped 18 shots in the period to keep his team up 1-0.
The Tigers continued their onslaught in the second, finding their way past Kubic for the first and only time at the 6:37 mark, with the teams tied up at two when the period closed.
Hebig came up big early in the third for the Pats to give his team a 2-1 lead off a great set up pass from Jared Legien. It marked Hebig’s 31st goal of the season, but his first in his new Pats jersey.
With the final seconds ticking down and the Pats pressing hard the Tigers were finally able to pull goaltender Jordan Hollett with 20 seconds left, but Sam Steel, fresh from his return from the World Juniors, found the puck and potted an empty-netter to seal the 3-1 win.
The Pats are back in action Saturday night against the Calgary Hitmen at the Brandt Centre.
Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
- Ryan Kubic – Regina Pats (47 saves)
- Sam Steel – Regina Pats (1 goal)
- Matt Bradley – Regina Pats (1 assist, 5 shots on goal)