The Regina Pats bent but didn’t break in their 6-4 win over the Red Deer Rebels Wednesday night, leaving the series tied at two.
It was looking really good for the blue and white after two periods, as they headed into the third with a comfortable three-goal lead.
Some sloppy third-period play had Pats fans panicking. The Rebels scored three, bringing the score to 5-4, but the Pats regrouped and pulled it out in front of a hometown crowd more than 6,100 strong.
“Going into that third period we might have been a little loose in the dressing room,” Lane Zablocki admitted post-game.
But the team didn’t panic.
“It’s always stressful when a team starts to come back and score of few on you, it kind of puts you on your heels, but I think we handled it well,” Zablocki added. “We’re grateful to get that win.”
Instrumental in Wednesday night’s win was Pats goalie Tyler Brown who faced 48 shots and saved 44 of them, including a magnificent glove save near the end of the third.
“After that the crowd went nuts, and that gets everyone up on the bench for sure, and definitely gives us a little more momentum,” Zablocki said.
Less enthused was Pats Head Coach John Paddock.
“I’m not even sure that was going to go in, I think it might have been wide,” Paddock said with a laugh.
But he still had lots of kudos for his 19-year-old net minder.
“Browny was outstanding. He was the best he was in the series because he had to be the best,” Paddock said.
It was actually the Rebels that put the first points on the board, but Lane Zablocki got in on the action not long after, scoring a five on three power play goal. Connor Hobbs added another for the Pats during five on four less than two minutes later.
Zablocki added two more in the second period for his first career post-season hat trick, though no hats were thrown as the first goal of the game was originally credited to Hobbs. It was changed hours later. Luc Smith and Cole Sanford rounded out the scoring for the Pats.
The win leaves the teams tied at two games apiece going back to Red Deer for Friday’s game five. The Pats will have to win at least one there to seal the series.
“We’re not going to play any different, we don’t want to play a little different,” Paddock said about his team’s approach for Friday’s match up.
Win or lose, the Pats will return to Regina for game six on Sunday for a 4 o’clock puck drop. Tickets go on sale Thursday at noon.
- Lane Zablocki
- Luke Philip (Red Deer)
- Tyler Brown