Cole Carrier tied the game late in the third, while Connor Bedard scored the overtime winner, as the Regina Pats came out of the Art Hauser Centre with a 5-4 win on Friday night.
“I thought the effort was good, but I thought we made some glaring mistakes,” head coach Marc Habscheid said after the game. “We just made some bad mental errors that cost us. This is a game against a team that’s fighting for the same position that we are, and we gave away the extra points.”
The Raiders opened the scoring just 1:09 into the game, as Cale Sanders let a one time blast from the low slot go, beating Drew Sim. Sloan Stanick started the play off by leading a two on one rush into thezone, and slipping a cross crease feed to the stick of Sanders, who picked up his 11th goal of the season. Flying out of the gates early, Prince Albert took a 1-0 lead.
Layton Feist tied the game less the five minutes later just after a Pats powerplay expired. Taking a drop pass in the defensive zone, Feist gathered speed breaking down the left wing. Coming into the Raider zone untouched, the defenceman walked in and ripped a bullet off the post and in past Chaika’s glove. After a very good penalty kill, the Raiders surrendered the game tying goal, as it became a 1-1 game.
Prince Albert regained their lead with 5:46 to go in the first period. Ozzy Wiesblatt, who returned to the lineup after missing valuable time due to injury, led a three on two rush down the ice. Looking for Vlad Shilo in front of the net, Wiesblatt’s pass was tipped in front by a Regina defenceman.
Shilo was banging away on the doorstep, but was denied by a kick save by Sim. The puck was still loose in front, and Carson Latimer took his turn to give the puck several whacks. He was eventually able to jam a shot home, giving the Raiders a 2-1 lead on his 11th of the season, and second in as many games.
Pats rookie forward Borya Valis knotted things back up in the second period during four on four play. With extra room on the ice for both teams, Regina tilted the ice in the Rider zone. After Connor Bedard missed two shots wide, Valis led a rush back into the zone. Taking a shot from the high slot, Chaika got a piece of it with the glove, but not enough. With the goal, Valis’s eighth goal of the year made it a 2-2 game with 14:09 left in the second.
Prince Albert native Tanner Howe gave the Pats their first lead of the contest with 12:58 left in the middle frame. A loose puck from the corer came up to the Regina rookie, and he let a wrister go that beat all the traffic in front, including a screened Cheka. His 18th marker of the season gave the Pats a 3-2 lead.
With 3:53 to go in the second period and the Raiders on a five on three man advantage, Landon Kosior evened the score with a one timer from the left circle. A nice pass from Reece Vitelli from the right circle gave the Raider defenceman the chance to bury a shot, and he did just that, making it a 3-3 tie.
Kosior wasn’t done there, as he potted his second of the night on the same powerplay sequence. With Bedard in the box serving a checking from behind penalty, Kosior fired in his second goal in the period. After giving up two quick goals in succession, Prince Albert answered back with back to back goals of their own 1:15 apart to take a 4-3 lead after 40 minutes.
“It’s disappointing,” Kosior said after the loss. “We knew with the standings coming in that this would be a big game for us, so it’s very disappointing to give up that extra point tonight. I think after those (goals in the second), we all kind of thought we could play defense, and we had a good chance of winning. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t pull through with it.”
The Pats refused to go away in the third period, tying the game with 4:31 left in regulation. Bedard came streaking down the right wing and took a shot that Chaka was able to kick out, but the rebound came right back into the slot. Cole Carrier was able to track the rebound and bang it home, and on his 14th goal of the season, the game became tied once again at 4-4. After the goal, Carrier received a 10 minute misconduct, keeping him out for the remainder of the game.
With no more goals in the third period, the Pats and Raiders needed overtime to find a winner.
With all the extra ice in the extra frame, you knew it would only be a matter of time before Bedard found some free space. It took just 24 seconds for the 16 year old to walk in and snipe a shot blocker side to give the Pats the extra point with the 5-4 win.
“Every time you play against a guy like that, he’s expected to score, so when you can hold him off the sheet until overtime, you did a good job, and I thought our guys did a good job of that tonight.”
With the overtime defeat, the Raiders fall to 17-25-2-1, while the Pats improve to 18-23-1-1, moving one point ahead of Prince Albert in the Eastern Conference wild card race.
Next up for the Raiders is a home game on Saturday night, as they entertain the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Puck drop is at 7pm.