When your starting goaltender makes 42 saves and your most dangerous goal-scorer has a four-point night, you expect your team to be on the winning end of a hockey game.
Kootenay Ice netminder Wyatt Hoflin turned in a miraculous 42-save performance after being peppered by 47 shots from the Regina Pats. RW Jaedon Descheneau scored three goals of the highlight-reel variety and set up one more.
Yet, somehow, the Kootenay Ice fell to the Regina Pats 5-4 Wednesday night.
“[Wyatt] and Jaedon were our two best players tonight and it obviously wasn’t enough,” said Kootenay Ice assistant coach Jay Henderson over the phone following the loss. “I thought those two guys deserved a better fate than they got.
“We allowed way too many shots and our discipline wasn’t good tonight. By the end of the game, we were close to 50 shots [against]. You’re not going to win many games allowing 50 shots against.”
After a back-and-forth game, Pats forward Adams Brooks tallied his second goal of the night with 1:52 remaining in the third period. The late goal broke a 4-4 tie and ensured the Regina Pats kept two points from the visitors.
While giveaways were a matter of concern in Saturday’s 6-4 loss against the Hitmen, the Ice gave up eight power-play opportunities to the host Pats Wednesday in Regina. The home team only managed to convert on one of those chances.
“We battled back and gave ourselves a good position going into the third period,” Henderson added. “Then two quick goals and we’re down again. I don’t know what it’s going to take to change.
“Ryan [McGill, head coach] and I will put a game plan forward, but at the end of the day [the players] have to want to execute what’s put in front of them. If they choose to, they’ll most likely have success. If they want to stray, then it’s going to keep going the way it is and hopefully that’s not the case.”
Brooks and Pats leading scorer Braden Christoffer tallied 27 seconds apart before two minutes elapsed in the third period, giving Regina a quick fire advantage. After Descheneau got the Ice back within one, he set up veteran Levi Cable with less than five minutes to play to tie things 4-4 prior to Brooks’ winner.
Daniel Wapple earned the go in net for the Pats, steering aside 27 shots for his third win of the campaign.
Descheneau gave Wapple the most difficulty Wednesday. The 19-year-old forward opened the scoring in the first period with a beautiful goal on top of Wapple’s crease. After the Pats took a 2-1 lead in the second period, Descheneau was there once again to victimize Wapple with a laser of a shot that tied the game 2-2.
While Brooks led the hosts scoring parade with two markers, Connor Gay and Patrick D’Amico each chipped in with two helpers.
Kootenay Ice forward Luke Philp had a multi-point night, earning helpers on two of Descheneau’s goals.
The Ice (2-4-0-0) head back to the drawing board immediately as they continue a three-game road swing against the Moose Jaw Warriors (3-3-0-1) tonight at 7 p.m.
“At the end of the day, if we can play 60 minutes and stick to the game plan, we give ourselves a chance,” Henderson said. “Wyatt [Hoflin] is giving us a chance and keeping us in games. It’s time for us to start helping him out as well.”
Notes: D Rinat Valiev missed his sixth game with a lower-body injury…F Jon Martin missed his first game with an upper-body injury…F Austin Wellsby was also scratched Wednesday in Regina…Rookie F Vince Loschiavo left Wednesday’s contest after taking a heavy check near centre ice. He did not return. According to Henderson, the team is awaiting further evaluation on Loschiavo, but the hope is he will be available tonight in Moose Jaw…Pats D Chase Harrison’s first-period goal was the first of his WHL career. Harrison has played 49 regular-season games with Regina since 2013…