A drop off in the second period sent the Brandon Wheat Kings flying over the Regina Pats Saturday night.
The Pats had played a strong first period against a solid Brandon team, allowing just one goal in the final second of the opening frame.
The team came back in the second and while Brandon got on the board with their second goal of the night Austin Pratt responded a minute later to cut the deficit in half.
It was looking good for Regina and then it all fell apart for a short but deadly stretch.
First, Ben McCartney got past goaltender Dean McNabb for the Wheat Kings third goal of the night and it opened the floodgates.
Brandon struck while the iron was hot putting up back-to-back shorthanded goals a little more than a minute later giving the Wheat Kings a solid 5-1 lead.
Three goals in roughly two minutes rattled the young Pats team.
“When you have a five minute let down in the second period, you have to be like a goalie when he lets in a bad goal you have to put it behind you and move on,” said head coach Dave Struch after the game was over. “I think tonight when some bounces didn’t go our way we started choking the sticks, we started getting nervous with the puck and those sort of things we have to learn from.”
Brandon added another goal in the second period courtesy of their captain Stelio Mattheos and the Pats went into the break down 6-1.
“Those are things when you have little breakdowns like that we have to put them behind us shelf it and move on,” Struch said. “That just comes with the experience.”
It’s a familiar refrain from the Pats head coach who is steering a very different looking Pats team than the one the city is used to. The club picked up its first win of the season Friday night in Swift Current and are 1-5. Only the Broncos are worse in the division right now as they remain winless.
But it seems Regina was able to put the second period behind them because they came out with some life again in the third period. The game was already out of hand at that point, but the club put up two more goals – one from Nick Henry and one from Scott Mahovlich –while holding Brandon to just one more.
The final score was 7-3.