Pats clinch East Division title despite blowing two goal lead

March 14, 2014 - 10:34pm
A dejected Pats bench after Brandon forced overtime. Joel Gasson/CJME
A dejected Pats bench after Brandon forced overtime. Joel Gasson/CJME

The Regina Pats are the 2013-14 WHL East Division Champions but you’d never know it.

The Pats came into their game with the Brandon Wheat Kings needing just one point to clinch the title, they got it but not in a very good way. The Pats had a 3-1 lead after one period of play but ended up losing 4-3 in overtime to the Wheat Kings. After the game, Head Coach Malcolm Cameron didn’t feel like celebrating.

“I’m more bitter about the way we lost to be honest with you,” said Cameron who wasn’t sure how long it would take for him to perhaps see the positive in the evening.

For most of the third period Cameron was pretty pleased with how his team played, but it all seemed to come undone late in the frame when the Pats took an icing with 1:28 to go allowing Brandon to pull their goalie for the extra attacker.

“We make a huge mental error,” said Cameron. “We weren’t tough enough in front of our net but all of that could have been avoided if we got the puck up when they had a line change.”

From there the Wheat Kings were able to apply the pressure for basically the rest of the game and tying it as the Pats couldn’t get out of their own zone.  Bittersweet was the only way to describe the game after.

“That would be it, I know we end up with the division but I’m more bitter about the way we lost the game,” said Cameron.

The Pats got off to a good start jumping out to a 2-0 lead before the game was 10 minutes old with goals from Dryden Hunt and Dmitry Sinitsyn. The Wheat Kings cut the lead to one thanks to Peter Quenneville. The Pats regained their two goal lead before the period thanks to Connor Gay.
Brandon Would again cut the lead to one on the power play when Richard Nejezchleb was able to bang home a rebound to make it 3-2; a lead that held until the third period.

That lead would hold until there was 35 seconds left in the game and with the net empty a mad scramble around the Pats net would eventually lead to a tied game off the stick of Quenneville.  With Chandler Stephenson on the box Eric Roy would score the winner with a blast from the point. The win means the Wheat Kings will at least play in a tie-breaking game for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Regina came into this game without the services of Daniel Wapple, Colby Williams, Kyle Burroughs, Isaac Schacher and Dyson Stevenson.  All of them remain day-to-day but Cameron said that one or two could return for the Pats regular season final Saturday night in Brandon.

Pats hand out season ending awards

Before the game the Pats handed out their team awards for the season, the winners are as follows:

Dyson Stevenson – Player of the Year
Kyle Burroughs – Defenceman of the Year
Boston Leier- Unsung Hero
Dmitry Sinitsyn – Rookie of the Year
Morgan Klimchuk – Most Sportsmanlike
Dyson Stevenson – Most Popular Player
Griffin Mumby- Scholastic Player of the Year
Chandler Stephenson – Top Scorer
Boston Leier – Three Stars award

Attendance:  5,652
Three Stars:
1.    Wheat Kings – Peter Quenneville
2.    Wheat Kings – Jordan Papirny
3.    Pats – Chandler Stephenson