Saturday, February 17, 2024

Broncos buck Pats 7-2 on Friday

In what is becoming close to "must-win" territory the Regina Pats fell 7-2 to the visiting Swift Current Broncos in front of 3,401 spectators under the orange top.

Jaxsin Vaughan faces off with Conor Geekie (Feb. 16, 2024) - Keith Hershmiller Photography

Aaron Krestanowich opened the scoring for the Pats with his third of the campaign. Conor Geekie replied with his 32nd of the season leveling things up at 1-1 four minutes later. Sam Oremba restored the Pats' lead with less than seven minutes left in the first period, as they carried the one-goal lead into the first intermission. Things looked good for the Pats as they outshot the Broncos 9-5 through 20 minutes of play.

Then the second period happened. The Broncos came to life and flexed their muscle, scoring four goals in 4:10, and that was pretty much it. Swift Current carried a 5-2 until the late stages of the middle session when they added another, giving them a 6-2 advantage going into the second intermission. Luke Mistelbacher scored twice, Jakub Dvorak (first career WHL goal), Clarke Caswell, and Brady Birnie were the Bronco goal-getters in the second frame in which the visitors outshot the Pats 17-7.

The Broncos finished the scoring when Josh Filmon added a seventh marker in the third period capping off the victory with six unanswered goals. The Pats did have a little bit of life in the final 20 minutes, but being down five goals is almost an impossible feat. They outshot the Broncos 8-5.

Goalie Battle
Ewan Huet got the start in net for the Pats but his night ended early when he allowed four goals on 12 shots through 26:01. Kelton Pyne replaced the Swiss netminder and stopped 12 of 15 shots in 34:59 of relief. Reid Dyck was strong in the Bronco cage as he stopped 22 of 24 shots in the win.

Special Teams
Regina's powerplay operated at 25% on the night as they went 1-for-4 with the man advantage. The penalty kill struggled as the Broncos went 2-for-6 on their powerplay. Over the last four games, the Pats' powerplay has been red hot and has gone 8-for-20 which is good for a 40% clip. On the other hand, the opposite can be said for the penalty kill as the Pats have killed just 11 of their last 17 penalties, or 64.7%

Oremba stays hot
The Pats' 18-year-old forward had points on both Pats' goals, giving the Regina product 11 points (6G-5A) in his last six contests. He is one goal away from eclipsing the 20-goal plateau on the season.

Howe keeps climbing
Pats Captain Tanner Howe played in his 193 game with the Pats moving him into 97th place all-time in franchise history. The forward from Prince Albert is 57th in goals (88),  T-43rd in assists (133), and 49th in points (221). He leads this season's Pats in goals, assists, points, penalty minutes, shots, powerplay goals, powerplay assists, and powerplay points.

Up next
The Pats travel to Swift Current on Saturday, February 17th to finish off the season set with the Broncos. Regina is looking to close out the season series (in which the club has gone just 1-4-0-0) with a crucial two points in Speedy Creek.