The current Regina Pats roster was either in diapers or not yet born the last time a Pats team played a game on Blanshard Street.
The franchise of Clark Gillies, Greg Joly and the late great Doug Wickenheiser made its first appearance in the B.C. capital in 18 years and recorded a dramatic 3-2 Western Hockey League win over the Victoria Royals on a goal by Morgan Klimchuk with just 25 seconds remaining in the third period.
Victoria defenceman Jordan Fransoo, slicing to the net hard lately, had tied the game 2-2 off an Austin Carroll rebound at 17:28 of the third period before 5,797 fans in a game in which the Royals outshot Regina
We worked hard and cant fault the effort, Fransoo said.
A few lapses cost us the whole thing. When you dominate the game that much, to lose is sour.
The Pats didnt play in Victoria last season, when the Chilliwack Bruins located to the Island to finally replace the WHL Victoria Cougars, who departed for Prince George after the 1993-94 season.
These havent been the best of times lately for the Pats (10-12-2), who made the playoffs last season with an encouraging but modest fourth-place finish in the Eastern Division under new coach Pat Conacher after missing the post-season each of the previous three years.
Riding the performance of goaltender Teagan Sacher, the Pats did just enough Saturday to pull out a victory that seemed improbable, based on the run of play.
The guys worked hard, so obviously its tough to take, said Royals head coach Dave Lowry.
We made a couple of mistakes at inopportune times. We gave up two goals in the last minute of periods [including Pats captain Adam Rossignols with
55 seconds remaining in the second period to give Regina a 2-1 lead], and those are the things that are going to kill you.
Royals captain Tyler Stahl, on the power play at 2:17 of the second period, opened scoring. Colten Mayor, on just Reginas sixth shot of the game, tied it at 15:58 of the second.
Its tough to lose a game like that, Stahl said.
I thought we played a pretty good game. It came down to a couple of key moments when we sagged and they buried it.
The Saskatoon Blades
(9-10-1), an original WHL team, also make their first appearance on Blanshard in 18 years on Tuesday night as the Royals play the third game of their six-game home stand.
ICE CHIPS: The Pats feature two Island blueliners former Royals player Kade Pilton of Parksville and 2010 fourth-round Dallas Stars draft-pick Alex Theriau of Duncan, the latter who left the game in the second period . . . Patrik Polivka was in the Victoria nets Saturday . . . Returning to the Memorial Centre visitors bench last night was Pats assistant coach Malcolm Cameron, the former Long Beach Ice Dogs coach who knows Victoria from ECHL days . . . Royals Steven Hodges, Tim Traber and Jesse Zgraggen did not dress Saturday for a second straight night . . . Second overall 2012 NHL draft pick Ryan Murray of the Everett Silvertips, who was expected to be a factor for Canada at the world junior championships, is listed as out indefinitely after injuring his shoulder in Friday nights 5-0 Royals victory over the Tips at the Memorial Centre.
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