Sunday, February 25, 2024

Pats lose both to start US Trip

Game 1 at Spokane

The Pats opened their six games in a nine-day United States road trip at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena as they visited the Chiefs for the first time since a 6-2 loss on January 18, 2020. This time the Queen City Kids fell by a score of 5-2 in front of 10,149 loud and boisterous fans.

Tye Spencer - Keith Hershmiller Photography

Tye Spencer and Braxton Whitehead gave the Pats a 2-0 lead before the halfway point of the opening period before Hayden Paupanekis replied to pull the Chief to within one as the first ended.

Tye Cheveldayoff would knot the game at 2-2 midway through the middle frame and it seemed like the ice tilted in favour of the hometown Chiefs as the first 40 minutes would down.

Unfortunately for the Pats, Jaxsin Vaughan took a five-minute major for kneeing just 14 seconds into the third and it was something that the Pats could not overcome. As the major was winding down the Conner Roulette scored a powerplay marker to give the Chiefs their first lead of the game and the Pats had no pushback. Ben Bonni scored the insurance marker with less than three minutes left and Berkly Catton added an empty netter with just over a minute left to give the Chiefs a 5-2 win.

The Chiefs outshot the Pats 36-21 overall and 15-4 in the third period.

The Goalies

Ewan Huet took the loss and fell to 12-17-0-1 as he stopped 31-of-35 shots directed his way. Dawson Cowan kicked out 19-of-21 as he picked up his 15th win of the season.

The Special Teams

The Pats powerplay scored for the seventh straight contest (1/5) and were 11-for-32 (34.38%) through that stretch while killing 4-of-6 Chief man advantages.

Keith Hershmiller Photography
Game 2 at Tri-City

On Saturday, the Pats traveled to Kennewick, Washington to face the Tri-City Americans. 5,637 fans watched as their hometown club beat the Pats 5-3.

The Americans were wearing pink jerseys with white numbers (which were really hard to read by the way) and pink ice for their Cancer Awareness Night.

The opposite of Friday happened as the Tri-City Americans took a 2-0 lead late in the first period on goals by Carter MacAdams and Brandon Whynott before Tye Spencer ripped home a powerplay marker with 45 seconds left in the first period to pull the Pats to within one as the first intermission began.

Jake Sloan and Brayden Barnett exchanged goals in the middle period as the Americans took a 3-2 lead heading into the crucial third period.

With just under five minutes left, Kelton Pyne made a big glove save, but the puck popped into the air to Andrew Fan and he put it past the Pats netminder to give the Americans a 4-2 lead. Just over two minutes later Sam Oremba pulled the Pats back to within one at 4-3. With Pyne on the Pats’ bench, the Americans won a defensive zone face-off and the puck ended up on Parker Bell’s stick and he sealed the Americans' win at 5-3.

The teams ended up tied on the shot counter at 33-33.

The Goalies

Pyne played well for the Pats as he stopped 28-of-32 in the loss. Draft prospect Lukas Matecha was strong for the Americans as he kicked out 30-of-33 including some big-time stops that kept the Pats from tying the game.

The Special Teams

The Pats' powerplay clicked once (1/4) again increasing their streak with a powerplay goal to eight games going 12-for-36 (33.33%). The Pats killed all three American man advantages.

Of Note

Barnett was playing in his 100th career WHL game. Tanner Howe has seven points (1G-6A) in a three-game point streak. Spencer has goals in three straight contests.

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