Tanner Howe found the back of the net twice while Connor Bedard chipped in with a goal and two assists, as the Regina Pats beat the Prince Albert Raiders 4-0 on Tuesday night at the Brandt Centre.
“We’re not going to win many games if we can’t score,” head coach Marc Habscheid said. “Our margin of error is very small and that’s the way it is.”
Cole Carrier had one of the best chances in the first period for the Pats, and it came shorthanded. After stripping a Raider defenceman of the puck at the blue line, Carrier broke in all along on Tikhon Chaika, but the Prince Albert netminder stood tall to the task, making the stop.
Carson Latimer and Niall Crocker each had chances to open the scoring in the first period, but both Raider forwards came a crossbar away from putting Prince Albert on the board.
After a mild first period, the Raiders and Pats went into the intermission scoreless.
Tanner Howe opened the scoring with 3:29 left in the second period in the first half of a double minor to Trevor Thurston. Scoring his third goal and eighth point in a four game stretch, he finally found the game’s opening goal on Regina’s third powerplay of the contest. The Prince Albert product added to his already sizeable lead in rookie scoring for the Pats, scoring his 14th goal and 31st point.
With 57 seconds left in the middle frame, Connor Bedard was able to slip by the Raider defence and have a clear breakaway on Chaika during the second half of the Thurston’s penalty. Using his speed, Bedard was able to beat Chaika on the glove side with a quick shot, doubling Regina’s lead to 2-0 with his team leading 20th goal of the season.
With just eight shots through two periods compared to Regina’s 19, the Raiders found themselves in a 2-0 hole going into period number three.
Howe struck with his second goal of the game in the third period on a weird play in front of Chaika. From behind the net, Howe spun and threw a pass out in front, but it went off of a couple of skates in front and through Chaika’s legs In a weird sequence of events, the Pats found a fortunate goal 4:02 into the third period to go up 3-0.
Habscheid decided to pull the goalie in favour of an extra attacker with around four minutes left in the third.
Carrier redeemed himself after his shorthanded chance in the first period, and found the score sheet with 41 seconds left in regulation. His empty net marker made it 4-0, as the Pats took game one of two in a row against the Raiders.
“We just need to have more sustained pressure in the offensive zone,” Habscheid added “Tonight we had none. We were one and done too much.”
Matthew Kieper made all 17 stops, collecting his first shutout of the season, while Chaika stopped 21 of 24 shots thrown his way in the loss.
These two teams are back at it again in Regina on Friday night. Puck drop is at 7pm.