Down by two goals and the time ticking down in the third period, the Pats needed a spark.
And they found it, just where one might expect it.
Fresh off a bit of a roller coaster ride at the World Juniors, alternate captain Josh Mahura came in and singlehandedly stickhandled around the Raiders defence and fired off a shot that left no doubt.
All of the sudden the Pats were within one. The fans reengaged in the game. There was a glimmer of hope and the Pats clung to it.
“He’s a game-changing guy,” head coach John Paddock said of Mahura. “The second goal it, it was a pure individual effort.”
Though Mahura was a little more modest.
“I feel like for us there were a lot of things that went into that obviously. I wouldn’t say it was just me, I think that kind of just got us going a little bit,” he said.
It was exactly what they needed. The Pats laid an egg in the second period, giving up their 1-0 lead and allowing Prince Albert to score three.
They went into the dressing room in the second intermission knowing something needed to change.
“We just talked in the room and we kind of said as a group – as players – that we weren’t too happy with it. Every guy kind of had to look around and be like I need to do this for the guy next to me,” Mahura explained.
About two and a half minutes after Mahura’s goal Nick Henry scored his sixth of the season. Not to be outdone, Jake Leschyshyn scored just ten seconds after that. With Dawson Davidson’s goal in the first, the Pats were up by one with about 12 minutes remaining.
However, a kneeing penalty by Tanner Sidaway put the Raiders on the powerplay and Jordy Stallard tied it up for his team with seven minutes remaining.
The 4-4 tie held and the teams went into three-on-three overtime.
The Raiders, looking content to burn the clock down and head to shootouts spread the puck around the ice taking and allowing few chances, but at 3:19 after being set up by Josh Mahura and Cale Fleury, Matt Bradley made no mistake firing it through the legs of Raiders goaltender Curtis Meger.
The win marks the third straight for the Regina Pats, who have won three of their last four since coming back from the Christmas break.
“I think the break it was good to get away from playing at that time and just how it was going. There shouldn’t be any more pressure than normal years but there is for some reason so I think it was good,” Paddock said, adding he’s noticed one big difference between before the break and after.
“What we’ve been asked them to do a lot of the year is pay attention to detail and we’re doing that.”
Next up the Pats will take on the Brandon Wheat Kings for the third time in a week. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.