T-Birds play well but still fall short in Regina
By Andrew Eide
Sometimes the final score of a hockey game tells you all that you need to know about the game. Wednesday in Regina, Seattle lost to the Pats 5-2, but that score tells you very little about the game and how it was played. It was a head scratching game that saw Seattle dominate the play for almost the whole game as they out-shot the Pats 45-22 and yet lost.
“It’s frustrating,” head coach Steve Konowalchuk said afterward. “Territorialy we controlled the game. It seemed that every time we had a break down it ended up in the back of the net. You have to give them some credit.”
Seattle had struggled out of the gate on their current road trip and in this game they jumped into the play right away. They held the puck and got a ton of shots early on Regina goalie Matt Hewitt. It seemed that they had learned their lesson from the night before, when they came out slow. Despite that they still found themselves down 2-0 when the first 20 minutes were over.
Despite out-shooting the Pats 15-8 they allowed two goals. The first was scored by Adam Rossignol who banged home a loose rebound in front of Justin Myles. A couple of minutes later Regina had a 3-on-2 breakaway and Colten Mayor beat Myles as a result. Once again the T-Birds were down after the first period, but this felt different. This was not because they did not come out firing, or feeling their way through the period. It felt more like the only two times Regina had the puck deep they managed to score.
In the second Seattle stuck to their game plan and started drawing penalties. They cashed in on their first power play of the period as Shea Theodore scored his fifth of the season with a nice slap shot from the point. Four minutes later Seattle was back on the power play and Justin Hickman took a nice pass from Brendan Rouse and scored his third of the year to tie the game.
With the score tied it felt like Seattle might be able to run away with the game. A few minutes later they found themselves back on the power play, this time a two man advantage thanks to some undisciplined Regina play. With the two-man advantage they were able to get many good chances, coming close to scoring several times but in the end, unable to beat Hewitt.
Was that a missed opportunity?
“Our power play scored twice,” Konowalchuk said. “and yeah, if we score there and go up the game probably changes, but I was happy with our power play. I know there’s an old saying in hockey that if you don’t score on the 5-on-3 you lose but when we score twice I can’t blame the power play.”
Even though they did not score it still felt like Seattle had all the momentum.
Regina would put an end to that however as they scored five minutes later on a Luke Fenske goal and then with five minutes left in the period Luke Scheidl deflected a point shot past Myles – just like that the Pats had their two-goal lead back. Even then it still felt like Seattle would pull it out.
The game slowed down in the third as neither team seemed to control the play too much. Seattle was held to eight shots and did not generate the same chances they had in the first two frames. In the end they could not score and gave up one more goal late which put the game away.
“I thought we started getting cuter in the third,” Konowalchuk said. “We passed up some good shots trying for the perfect play, where I thought we had stuck with our system more in the second.”
Justin Myles was in goal for Seattle and gave up all five Regina goals but didn’t play poorly. It was just one of those nights where it seemed like the only chances he faced were good shots and ended up in his net.
“On one we don’t clear the rebound and they get three whacks at it, and then it seemed like we gave up some 2-on-1 or 3-on-2 opportunities,” Konowalchuk said.
In the end it was a tough and strange night for the T-Birds that ended in their second straight loss.
For the fourth time on this road trip the T-Birds found themselves down by at least two goals in the first period.
Before the game the team announced they had signed 2012 third round draft pick Logan Flodell. Flodell, a goalie, is from Regina and was in attendance at the game on Wednesday. He currently is 4-1 with a 1.80 goals against average for the Regina Pat Canadians Midget AAA team.
Shea Theodore scored his fifth goal of the season last night which surpasses his total of four from last year. Needless to say he is on his way to a career season.
Seattle has two more games remaining on their eastern swing as they take on Prince Albert Friday and then Saskatoon on Saturday.