The Pats had teddy bears, hats and fists flying in their game against the Kelowna Rockets Friday night.
It was the home team’s first time back in the Brandt Centre since Nov. 15 and it was also their annual teddy bear toss night.
Josh Mahura started the teddy bear shower with the opening goal of the night. However, it along with the hat trick he would eventually net, was difficult to enjoy after a 7-5 loss.
“It’s kind of takes the joy right out of it. It’s a tough loss. We gave ourselves a chance all game and come out in the third and have an effort like that, it’s just not good enough,” Mahura said.
It was a high flying, high scoring first period to start things off.
Less than two minutes after Mahura’s teddy bear goal the Rockets answered right back and when the dust settled on the first period the bears were long forgotten as Regina and Kelowna traded a total of seven goals in the opening frame.
Mahura netted his second late in the period, while forward Nick Henry was able to hit the back of the net twice.
Things were looking good for the Pats as they went into the first intermission up 4-3.
Kelowna came back firing in the second though, with Leif Mattson – the game’s first star – scoring his second of the game just two minutes in to tie things up.
Roughly four minutes later, the Rockets found the net again with a shorthanded goal from Dillon Dube.
That, according to head coach John Paddock, was when the wind came out of their sales.
“We had lots of life and jump tonight for two periods. We lost some life after the shorthanded goal. That’s a bad 10-second sleep from our best players … a good team took advantage of it,” he said.
Despite outshooting their opponents 12-4, the Pats ended the period down 5-4 and weren’t able to retake the lead with a flat third period.
Tyler Brown allowed his sixth goal of the game five minutes into the third, and the Pats brought in Max Paddock to finish things up.
But the Pats continued to unravel and three minutes later Nolan Foote scored the Rockets seventh goal of the night which made it back-to-back games where the Pats have allowed seven goals.
“You cant win with the amount of goals we’ve been giving up,” Coach Paddock said.
“There’s a lot of people that have to be better.”
With less than a minute left on the clock, Mahura was able to score once more to complete the hat trick and like the teddy bears before, some hats were thrown on the ice.
But despite the hat trick, it was actually the flying fists that took centre stage in the third period.
With just two minutes and 30 seconds left in the game the Pats and the Rockets got into four separate fights.
It started with Pats forward Braydon Buziak who dropped the gloves with Cal Foote.
A little more than a minute later Tanner Sidaway got into it with Gordie Ballhorn, then with 15 seconds left Scott Mahovlich scrapped with Nolan Foote.
And if that wasn’t enough Robbie Holmes fought Braydyn Chizen with less than a second left on the clock.
None of it was impressive to their head coach.
“If you show pride you do it earlier. You don’t do it when there’s two minutes left,” Paddock said.
“It’s useless. It just is. It’s not even to say the game isn’t played like that anymore, it’s not that,” he continued. “I think there’s probably still a place for it even though that’s changing overall. But get involved in a pushing match or scrum earlier in the game if you want to fight … I don’t have anything good to say about it. It’s nothing. It’s nothing to me.”
The Pats will look to bounce back against the Medicine Hat Tigers Saturday night at the Brandt Centre. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.