Leader-Post article (Pats put together complete effort)October 27 2008 at 7:41 AM
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|N. W. Bruin (Login NW_Bruin_GM)|
Pats put together complete effort
Greg Harder, The Leader-Post
Published: Monday, October 27, 2008
We interrupt your regularly scheduled Regina Pats' program for an episode of 60 Minutes.
OK, maybe it was only 58.
The Pats enjoyed the fruits of their largest offensive eruption this season on Sunday afternoon, running away with an 8-3 win over the Prince Albert Raiders before 5,138 fans at the Brandt Centre.
Leader-Post / Regina Pats goalie Linden Rowat stops a shot by Prince Albert Raiders forward Matt Robertson in the third period Sunday at the Brandt Centre.
Regina had been erratic in its search for a 60-minute effort, but Sunday's performance -- aside from a brief lapse in the second period -- might have been the team's most complete effort of the campaign.
It certainly showed on the scoreboard.
"Part of playing hockey is scoring goals and it's fun, but I was more impressed with our defensive play and structure," offered Pats head coach Dale Derkatch, who's in his first season as a WHL bench boss. "The guys saw from good defensive play and good structure that you get lots of chances to score. It's part of the learning process. I think the guys are starting to get where I'm coming from. I'm very happy with our start ... and I thought we finished off well, which was nice to see."
Coming off two consecutive poor starts -- in an 8-1 loss to Saskatoon and a 5-3 win over Portland -- the Pats flew out of the blocks Sunday by scoring three goals before the game was eight minutes old. Rookie Jordan Weal got it started just 58 seconds into the contest, followed by markers only 40 seconds apart from Jordan Eberle and Matt Delahey.
Regina gave one back 3:21 later on a two-man power play, leaving ex-Pat Justin Bernhardt alone on the doorstep with goaltender Linden Rowat down and out.
Regina quickly regained the advantage early in the second period thanks to goals by Matt Strueby and Eberle in a span of 1:02. The Raiders fought back with two quick ones of their own from Ryan McDonald and Dustin Cameron, who scored only 1:42 apart, but Tomas Hricina replied with 5:02 left in the second period to put the home side up 6-3.
The Pats had twice blown a three-goal lead in the third period this season, but not this time. Garrett Mitchell and Strueby scored 1:09 apart at the midway point of the final frame to turn the game into a blowout.
Strueby also posted an assist while Weal added two helpers, giving them both three-point nights. They're tied for the team lead with 21 points in 16 games. Strueby's two-goal night also gave him a team-high 12, two more than Eberle, who has played two fewer games.
Colten Teubert and MacAngus chipped in with two assists apiece while Rowat, who missed the previous six games with a shoulder injury, had an easy night with 18 saves.
The same couldn't be said of Raiders netminder Garrett Zemlak, who had frustrated the Pats in their last encounter, making 37 saves in a 3-2 shootout victory. This time he looked human, allowing all eight goals on 36 shots.
"Last time he played here he was looking like a Vezina winner, but tonight we got to him," said Delahey, whose team lost both ends of a home-and-home set against Prince Albert on the second weekend of the regular season. "We owed them a couple. That was at the start of the year when everybody was just back (from NHL camps) and just getting going. It was nice to play them again."
The Pats (8-5-1-2) moved into sole possession of third place in the East Division, one point ahead of the Raiders (9-8-0-0). The teams are slated to meet again on Sunday in Prince Albert.
EXTRAS: Bernhardt, a native of Yorkton, and McDonald, another ex-Pat, each finished with a goal and an assist ... Regina went 2-for-6 on the power play while holding the Raiders to 1-for-6 ... The Pats' scratches were G Jeff Bosch (healthy), D Alex Pym (shoulder), C Mitch Czibere (knee) and RW Cody Hanson (shoulder) ... Regina's next action is Wednesday against the Moose Jaw Warriors, who lost 7-3 in their previous visit to the Brandt Centre on Oct. 1. That was the Pats' largest margin of victory prior to Sunday's game ... Regina is slated to conclude a five-game homestand on Friday against the Red Deer Rebels.
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Go online to read what Greg Harder writes on his blog Slap Shots about the Regina Pats and junior hockey.
© The Leader-Post (Regina) 2008
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