Saturday, 3 December 2016

Pats pound Prince Albert

“Queen City Kids” light up Raiders 12-2

Sergey Zborovskiy (#2) and Rykr Cole (#22) celebrate a Pats goal.
    REGINA – Mini-slump. What mini-slump?
    The Regina Pats were hitting on all cylinders on Saturday night, and it spelled doom for the visiting Prince Albert Raiders. Overage Pats captain Adam Brooks roofed a goal home to the top left corner of the Prince Albert net just 63 seconds in, and the hosts poured it on from there.
    When the dust settled, the Pats came away with a 12-2 blowout victory, where they held a dominant 47-16 edge in shots on goal before 5,749 spectators at the Brandt Centre.
    Entering Saturday’s game, the Pats had lost three of their last five games, which included a 3-2 overtime setback in their last outing on Nov. 26 to the Rockets in Kelowna.
    Those struggles were left in the dust against the Raiders as the Pats improved to 18-2-4 and showed they are deserving of being the current top rated team in the Canadian Hockey League’s top 10 rankings. The Raiders, who seemed to be trapped in their own end for much of the contest, fell to 6-21-1 with the loss.
    “I think we played a complete game,” said Pats 17-year-old centre Jake Leschyshyn. “I think (playing) 60 minutes was our goal. We achieved that.
Pats captain Adam Brooks had a big night with two goals and three assists.
    “They are obviously kind of lower in the standings, and I think our challenge was to not take them too lightly. I think we did a good job of that.”
    Leschyshyn continued what has been a stellar sophomore campaign collecting a pair of assists in Saturday’s win to give him 10 goals, 16 assists and a plus-nine rating in the plus-minus category in 24 games.
    His contributions in the romp over Prince Albert seemed to be average on Saturday, when they were compared with some of his teammates.
    Russian defenceman Sergey Zborovskiy had a career night recording two goals, five assists and a plus-eight rating. His offensive outburst allowed the 19-year-old, who is in his third year in the league, to set a new career high for assists in a season at 18.
    He also came up with the game’s key play, when there still might have been doubt about the final outcome.
The Pats storm the Raiders goal.
    After the Pats took a 3-0 lead, Raiders Czech import left-winger Simon Stransky potted his 11th of the season to cut the host’s edge to 3-1 with 2:23 to play in the first.
    The Raiders followed that goal with a trio of energetic shifts.
    The short momentum burst for the visitors came to an end when Zborovskiy converted a beauty setup pass from Brooks to give the Pats a 4-1 edge with 1.3 seconds to play in the opening frame.
    Brooks, who was last season’s WHL scoring champion, finished the night piling up two goals and three assists. Left-winger Austin Wagner, who is heading to the main training camp for Canada’s world junior team that runs from Dec. 10-14 in Boisbriand, Quebec, had a pair of goals and an assist.
    Filip Ahl, who is a 19-year-old rookie winger from Sweden, added three helpers to the Pats cause. Rykr Cole netted a pair of goals for the Pats, who received singles from Dawson Leedahl, Riley Woods, Nick Henry and Connor Hobbs.
Pats winger Dawson Leedahl (#71) leads an offensive zone rush.
    Tyler Brown made 14 saves to pick up the win in goal for Regina.
    Austin Glover had the Raiders other tally. Nicholas Sanders started in the Raiders net, was pulled after Regina’s third goal but returned early in the third after the Pats went ahead 10-1. He stopped 15 of 20 shots sent his way.
    Ian Scott played the middle portion of the contest for the Raiders, and he turned away 20 of 27 shots sent in his direction.
    Leschyshyn said his Pats have done a number of things right in building their strong record so far this season.
    “First and foremost, we are a pretty deep team,” said Leschyshyn. “I think we have four solid lines that can be put out there in pretty much any situation.
    “I think we have a good shutdown (defence), and to compliment that, our forwards are fast. I think our team speed is a biggest asset out there.”
The Pats are all smiles after their romp over the Raiders.
    The only downer for the Pats on Saturday was the fact they lost overage defenceman Chase Harrison to injury after he received a head hit from Raiders left-winger Kolby Johnson just over five minutes into the second period. Johnson was giving a major penalty for checking to the head and a game misconduct for that infraction, and it will be up for automatic review by the league office for a possible suspension.
    The Pats return to action Sunday, when they travel to Swift Current to face the Broncos.
    The Raiders return to Prince Albert and will host the Calgary Hitmen on Tuesday.

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