January 21st, 2018

New Pats make the difference in Tigers’ loss to Regina

By Ryan McCracken on January 12, 2018.

The Regina Pats picked up eight new players in the week leading up to the Western Hockey League’s trade deadline, but Ryan Kubic and Cameron Hebig were all they needed in Friday’s 3-1 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Kubic turned aside a season-high 47 shots to lock up his first win as a member of the Pats while Hebig’s first goal with Regina helper as the game-winner after both were acquired from the Saskatoon Blades in the same transaction on Wednesday morning.

Regina blueliner Josh Mahura put the Pats out in front after some relentless first period pressure. The Pats hemmed Medicine Hat into their own end zone Kristians Rubins in the box for boarding, and while they didn’t cash in with the man advantage, Mahura ripped a point shot past Tigers goaltender Jordan Hollett 23 seconds after Rubins left the box to give Regina an early lead.

While Kubic kept Regina in front with 18 saves in the opening frame, the Tigers managed to solve him in the second.

Mark Rassell picked up his team-leading 35th goal of the season on Medicine Hat’s 25th shot of the game when he got his stick on a wrister from Rubins and directed the puck through Kubic to knot the game up midway through the period.

The goal extended Rubins’ point streak to seven games with eight points in the span, James Hamblin picked up the second assist to stretch his own streak to four games with a helper in each contest.

The Tigers kept the pedal down offensively — at one point outshooting the Pats 26-9 — but Kubic held firm to keep Regina in a tie game after 40 minutes and Hebig broke through early in the third.

The Edmonton Oilers prospect beat Hollett over the glove just less than four minutes into the third period for his 31st goal of the season and his first since joining the Pats.

While the Tigers pressed for an equalizer, Kubic refused to let another puck past him and Sam Steel put the game away with an empty-netter in the dying seconds of regulation.

Hollett finished the loss with 27 saves, dropping Medicine Hat to 23-17-3-0 on the season. The Pats improved to 22-19-4-0 with the victory.

The Tigers continue their four-game road trip Saturday in Brandon against the Wheat Kings at 6:30 p.m. before closing out the swing Sunday in Moose Jaw against the Warriors at 3 p.m.

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