Calgary, Alberta – If the Pats wanted to get back into the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, they would have to play their best game of the season against the WHL’s top team in the Calgary Hitmen Wednesday night.
It started off great for the Blue & White as Jordan Eberle found Mitch Czibere on a 2-on-1 for his 11th of the season and a 1-0 lead. The Hitmen tied it 31 seconds later on a tip in by captain Carson McMillan only to see the Pats take the lead just 41 seconds after on Alex Pym’s 3rd of the season.
The Pats had clear control but it was wrestled away when Calgary was awarded six of the next eight powerplays.
It was all Calgary the rest of the way as Brett Sonne tied it at the 9:11 mark and then Joel Broda made it 4-2 Hitmen with his league leading 48th of the season.
The second period saw the Pats grab make it 4-3 on the power play as Eberle found a pinching Victor Bartley who netted his 14th of the year. However two Hitmen goals late in the second period by Sonne and Broda pulled them to an insurmountable 6-3 lead.
That’s the way things finished off and with the Prince Albert Raiders and Edmonton Oil Kings both winning, the Pats now have themselves a five point hill to climb for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with eight games left. They can help out their cause Friday night with a win over the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook, an 8:00 start Regina time (7:35 Press Box Sports Bar Pats Pregame on 620 CKRM).
All three stars were Calgary Hitmen with the Taylor Toyota Hardest Working Pat being Linden Rowat.
(Postgame wrap-up by Dan Plaster/Rod Pedersen)