Savvy special teams play and a tic-tac-toe overtime goal lifted the Pats over the Oil Kings 3-2 Sunday afternoon.
The Pats penalty kill and powerplay came up big for them when necessary, and it helped the Pats win back-to-back games after a difficult loss to the Saskatoon Blades last week.
“Special teams was big, killed a penalty with 2:22 left and then the powerplay obviously, so find ways to win,” said head coach John Paddock after the game.
“We’ve been working on them a lot in practice,” added defenceman Josh Mahura. “That was a big emphasis we wanted to get on this year and so our killing’s been solid and our powerplay’s been good for us too.”
Paddock lauded the play of the Oil Kings, saying their game plan worked well at pushing the Pats, but his team was able to stay the course.
“We had to remind our guys no to get frustrated and just to keep going ahead and doing it.”
Wyatt Sloboshan was penalized four and a half minutes into the second period, setting up the first goal of the night for the Oil Kings.
Conner McDonald got past Pats goaltender Tyler Brown for a beautiful powerplay goal to put his team up 1-0 early in the period.
It took another 11 minutes for the Pats to tie things up, but they did at 16:14 in the second courtesy of Matt Bradley.
However, the tie didn’t hold for long when the Pats gave up a breakaway opportunity to Davis Koch who made no mistake against Brown and put the visitors up 2-1 heading into the second intermission.
Pats captain Sam Steel tied things up for his team midway through the third, but the game got a little dicey at the end when Matt Bradley took a high sticking penalty with just 2:22 to go in the game.
Regina’s special teams play delivered a much-needed penalty kill and Steel almost won it when in the dying seconds he hit the crossbar.
Instead, the game went into overtime and Steel fed Emil Oksanen the game-winner and sealed the 3-2 win for the Pats.
“Steel’s had some tough times and tough luck lately, but to get the tying goal is the big goal any time,” said Paddock of his 19-year-old captain. “We’ve got to keep finding different ways to give him some space … because teams are watching him closely.”
The Pats are next in action on Wednesday against the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Puck drop is 7 p.m. at the Brandt Centre.