Pats down Rebels in 6-5 shootout thriller

The Regina Pats came from behind to edge the Red Deer Rebels in a 6-5 thriller Saturday night.

Some problems with the lights at the Westerner Park Centrium foreshadowed a crazy finish in the game as both teams came into this one hungry to end losing streaks.

Rebels forward Zak Smith got the crowd into it early with a nice rip from the middle of the slot that beat Pats Goaltender Danton Belluk high glove side just 36 seconds into the game.

Then it was a milestone goal for Rebels forward Ethan Rowland as he was fed a gorgeous pass from Chris Douglas to go in all alone and make a nice move past Belluk for his first WHL goal of his career.

It was a physical start to the game with two fights before the 10 minute mark in the first period that made for exciting hockey to follow.

The Pats did not let their fourth powerplay go to waste in the second period as Ty Kolle picked up his fifth goal of the season with a quick wrist shot from the left wing that beat Byron Fancy, who was making his second start of the season for Red Deer.

Rebels captain Dawson Barteaux restored the two-goal cushion by stepping into the slot and letting a shot go through traffic that found the back of the net for a 3-1 Rebels lead.

Red Deer was not done there as Cam Hausinger tipped a puck past Belluk to make it a 4-1 game.

Showing great resiliency, the Pats clawed back into the game thanks to former Rebel Austin Pratt with a nice tip in front of the net that beat fancy to bring the Pats within two.

Regina made things very interesting late in the second when Robbie Holmes let a hard shot go from the top of the point and in to make it a 4-3 game.

Not long into the third period, a turnover in the Red Deer zone led to an opportunity for a Ryker Evans for a one-timer that beat Fancy five hole, erasing what was once a three-goal deficit 1:16 into the final frame.

Cam Hausinger scored his second goal of the night when he buried a shot Belluk on the powerplay late in the third.

The next play after Red Deer regained the lead, the Pats pushed their way into the offensive zone where the puck bounced in front of Fancy, forcing him to make a gorgeous and timely save with two minutes left to play.

Scratching for life, the Pats were given a lucky bounce as Pratt centered the puck from the corner and bounced it off of Ethan Sakowich’s skate and into the Rebels net with only 15 seconds left and the goalie pulled. Pratt was credited his second of the night, tying it 5-5 forcing overtime.

The Rebels were gifted a powerplay opportunity in the extra period, but were unable to capitalize. This game needed a shootout to determine a winner.

All shooters in the shootout were successful up until the third round where Arshdeep Bains got shut down by Belluk. Then with the game on his stick, Zack Wytinck snuck a shot under the glove of Fancy that gave the Pats the 6-5 win over Red Deer.

Regina went 1-for-6 on the powerplay, meanwhile Red Deer was 1-for-4 on their powerplay chances. The Pats outshot the Rebels 37-29.

Red Deer will welcome the Lethbridge Hurricanes to the Centrium on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.