The Pats handed out their player awards before the game Friday night, but the fans were also awarded an exciting and high scoring game against the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Adam Brooks, in his last regular season home game in a Pats uniform, gave the fans a reason to cheer early, scoring just 34 seconds into the first period.
As a 20-year-old Brooks, along with teammates Chase Harrison and Dawson Leedahl will be too old to play in the WHL next season. They trio was recognized by the team and the fans before the game.
“I think it really hit all of us when we got recognized and being 20-year-olds and all the boys kind of stood up for us,” Brooks said after the game. “When it’s kind of coming down to the end you start to think about everything you’ve been through and look back on all the great times you’ve had and all the great people you met.”
However, the celebrating wasn’t done there. Around the eight minute mark of the game, Sam Steel scored his 50th goal of the season. A feat not done since Oilers forward Jordan Eberle was a Pat.
“I worked really hard in the offseason and I’ve worked on little things in the game like my shot to try to improve so I could score more goals so it’s nice to see the work paying off,” Steel said about the milestone, adding he was happy to do it front of the home crowd.
Head coach John Paddock also praised Steel’s productivity.
“It’s a big thing, it’s quite an achievement when you get 50 goals and he’s going to play 66 games probably so that’s a pretty productive year,” he said.
At about five minutes into the second period, Liam Schioler took a delay of game penalty that put the Pats on the penalty kill. However, Regina didn’t miss a beat. Braydon Buziak scored shorthanded off a stellar pass from Austin Wagner to make it 3-0.
Brandon would strike back with their only goal of the game about three minutes later to bring them within two, but the Pats didn’t let that stand for long.
After setting up the Pats’ third goal, Wagner got one of his own just three minutes later, restoring Regina’s three-goal lead.
And the scoring just kept coming. Brooks notched his second of the game to make it 5-1, and Filip Ahl came in about 90 seconds later to extend the Pats lead even more.
It was 6-1 at the end of the second frame.
The third period went by without much excitement, but in the last minutes of the game, Wyatt Sloboshan added the Pats’ seventh goal of the night.
Regina will play one more regular season game Saturday night in Brandon. It’s a game that won’t affect the standings or the playoff match-ups, so the head coach has some very simple goals in mind.
“Attention to detail of little things, avoid injury,” Paddock said simply. “And I’m sure they (have the) same thought process.”
The Pats first round of the playoffs start at home on Friday, March 24 against the Calgary Hitmen. Tickets are already on sale.
- Player of the Year: Sam Steel
- Defensemen of the Year: Sergey Zborovskiy and Connor Hobbs
- Unsung Hero: Dawson Leedahl
- Rookie of the Year: Nick Henry
- Most Sportsmanlike (only 18 penalty minutes): Chase Harrison
- Community Service Award: Tyler Brown
- Most Popular Player (fan voted): Adam Brooks
- Scholastic Player of the Year (86.2% average): Jake Leschyshyn
- Three Star Award: Sam Steel
- Runners-up Brooks and Dawson Leedahl