It was another one of those nights at the Brandt Centre Friday.
A high flying, high scoring Pats game in front of a sold out crowd. The team’s fifth straight sell out, in fact, and the Pats started the show early.
Sam Steel kicked off the scoring for the Pats just over a minute into the first period and added his second four minutes later. Steel would go on to get his first career hat trick, notching his final goal in the third period and sending the hats flying onto the ice.
“It was cool to get the hat trick in front of the home crowd, sold out. But more importantly we got the win so it’s awesome,” Steel said.
Steel’s third goal of the night was also his 30th on the year, and he’s now now well surpassed his career high 23 goals with half the season left to go.
“Sam was really cooking tonight,” head coach John Paddock said of his star forward’s latest milestone.
And he wasn’t the only one, forward Nick Henry scored two goals to reach his 20th goal of the season.
“It’s pretty good, but playing with Sam (Steel) and Dawson (Leedahl) you’re getting two or three chances a night so it’s really exciting,” Henry said.
Despite the big nights for Henry and Steel and putting six goals up, the head coach wasn’t entirely impressed with his team’s defensive effort.
While the Pats got three the board early in the first period, the went scoreless in the second and allowed Calgary to get one back, courtesy of Jordy Stallard.
And though the Hitmen only got two goals Friday night, Paddock felt at many points in the game Calgary goals were just waiting to happen.
“It was all cruise control after that (first period). I mean we won the game because of some skill up front, we scored some nice goals. There’s nothing else,” Paddock said.
“(Tyler) Brown had to be on his toes all the time because we were going to let an opportunity happen one way or the other.”
For his part, Brown stopped 25 of 27 in the Pats win.
Paddock said he didn’t really say anything to his team after the game, because he understands that when the team is playing at the level they are it’s “impossible” to get to the mental and emotional level they need to be at every night.
“To do what we’re doing is really good but the fact is, there’s just some things that happened out there … The first (Calgary) goal was an example, the second goal was an example of just bad bad plays or bad bad reads. You can’t do that – and we probably won’t do that – against a good team.”
A good team like the one they’ll face Saturday night. The Pats continue a five game home stand by squaring off against Moose Jaw Saturday night at 7pm.
ODDS AND ENDS
- Friday’s three stars were Sam Steel, Nick Henry and Connor Hobbs.
- John Paddock picked up his 100th win as the head coach of the Pats.
- Sam Steel’s first career hat trick has him leading the WHL with 69 points in 31 games.
- The Pats sold out their fifth straight game.