Pats Take Home Opener Behind Barnett's Two Goals
Regina, Sask. - The Regina Pats swept their opening weekend of the 2023-24 season with a convincing 5-1 victory over the Saskatoon Blades on Saturday inside the Brandt Centre.
After a 1-1 tie through one period of play, the Pats broke the game open in the second, with Brayden Barnett scoring twice to give the group a 3-1 lead after two. In the third, Borya Valis and Braxton Whitehead (EN) would put the game away, as the Pats improve to 2-0 on the season.
It was Tanner Howe's initial goal that opened the scoring for Regina in the first. The Blades would tie it following a tally from Jordan Keller.
Kelton Pyne also played a big part in the win, making 29 saves, with 13 of them coming in the second period.
FINAL: Pats 5, Blades 1
1-0 Regina at 4:54 - Tanner Howe (1), assisted by Parker Berge & Borya Valis (PP) // Berge sent a nice pass to Howe in the right circle and he ripped a one-timer past Gardner to give the Pats a 1-0 lead on the power play.
1-1 Saskatoon at 12:49 - Jordan Keller (1), assisted by Charlie Wright & Brandon Lisowsky (PP) // The Blades worked the puck around the Pats zone and Keller's one-timer snuck through Pyne's five-hole to even the score up at 1-1.
2-1 Regina at 8:35 - Brayden Barnett (1), assisted by Tye Spencer // Spencer stole the puck from a retreating Blades defenceman and sent a pass to Barnett who was alone and buried his first of the season to give the Pats a 2-1 lead.
3-1 Regina at 12:48 - Brayden Barnett (2), assisted by Matteo Michels // Michels hit Barnett with a pass and with speed, he bore down on Gardner and sent nice backhander past the Blades goaltender before crashing the crease to give the Pats a 3-1 lead.
4-1 Regina at 14:57 - Borya Valis (1), assisted by Tanner Howe & Tye Spencer // The Pats won a battle for the puck behind the Blades net. Howe sent a pass to the slot where Valis fired home his first of the season to give the Pats a 4-1 lead late in the third period.
5-1 Regina at 16:13 - Braxton Whitehead (2), unassisted (EN) // Whitehead grabbed the puck by the Pats goal line and he took a long-range shot that hit the open cage to give the Pats a commanding four-goal lead at 5-1.
SOG: Regina - 6-6-6-18 | Saskatoon - 9-13-8-30
PP: Regina - 1/3 | Saskatoon - 1/5
Regina: Kelton Pyne (29 saves /30 shots)
Saskatoon: Evan Gardner (13 saves /17 shots)
First: Brayden Barnett - Pats (2G, 2 shots, 6 PIM, game winner)
Second: Kelton Pyne - Pats (29 saves, win)
Third: Tanner Howe - Pats (1G-1A, 7/10 on faceoffs)
Tanner Howe tallied two points tonight (1G-1A), giving him three points (1G-2A) to begin the season. He is now six assists away from 100, sitting at 94.
Brayden Barnett's two goals were his first career multi-goal and multi-point game.
Four different Pats players had multi-point games.
The Pats are one of three teams this season to begin the season 2-0.
The Pats improve to 5-3-1 over their last nine home openers and to 2-1 over their last three home openers.
Tonight, marked the Pats first home opener against the Blades since 2006 and 14th overall. The Pats are now 8-5-1 in home openers against the Blades.
The Pats' next action is on Wednesday, September 27 when they host their Trans Canada rival Moose Jaw Warriors, and the puck drop is at 7:00 pm.
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Western Hockey League Stories from September 24, 2023
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