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Hitmen Edged In Overtime

Candice Ward/Photo

A change of scenery may do the trick.

The Hitmen fell 4-3 in overtime against the Regina Pats Sunday afternoon at the Scotiabank Saddledome ending a six-game homestand with a 1-3-2 mark.

After picking up the first win of the season Friday night, there was hopes of heading out onto the road riding back-to-back wins but those plans were derailed.

“I thought we were the better team but just didn’t get it done,” head coach Steve Hamilton said. “Our special teams let us down and that comes down to deployment and execution and we didn’t do either well.

“I think going out the road is a difficult challenge but you have the tendency to rally up and be together and right now it’s probably the right time for us.”

Riley Stotts, Jake Kryski and Kaden Elder all found the back of the net for the Hitmen who were able to capitalize with two powerplay goals on six opportunities. Carl Stankowski ended the afternoon with 18 saves.

For Regina, both Jake Leschyshyn and Nick Henry had three point outings, both scoring for the visitors with Henry’s marker being the game-winner. Cole Dubinsky and Aaaron Hyman provided the other markers while Max Paddock finished with 29 saves.

It was a tightly contested affair throughout the contest that could have gone either way.

“We have a great group of guys that all want to contribute but we couldn’t get it done today,” Stotts said. “Everything we got from the last win we need to keep that inside of us and remember what that feeling is like.

“We need to shift the focus and move forward from this.”

The two clubs traded markers through the first 40 minutes before the Hitmen were able to break the tie just three minutes into the third. It was short lived as the Pats would tie things up once again a little halfway through the final stanza to force the extra session.

A tie up at the Pats blueline resulted in an odd-man rush the other way which Henry was able to finish off.

“When we get away from our game that’s when things  don’t go our way,” Elder said. “The play leading up to the game winner is out of our control and it wasn’t anyone’s fault just a bad unlucky play.

“You can’t blame anyone for that one and we need to move on and just limit our mistakes for the next one.”

The Hitmen will know look to reset and prepare for a five-game road swing that starts off Tuesday night against the Prince Albert Raiders. The club will then follow up with a matchup against the Saskatoon Blades, which will be their third game in four nights.

“We’re going into some difficult buildings but we need to be ready to play,” Hamilton said. “It’s imperative to bounce back from this right from the start. “

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