Hitmen Fall In Overtime

Candice Ward/Photo

They ran out of comebacks.

Friday night saw the Hitmen drop a 5-4 overtime decision to the Regina Pats, dropping to 1-1-1 on the current four-game road swing.

James Malm scored twice with Mark Kastelic and Vladislav Yeryomenko adding single markers. Kastelic also had a pair of assists for a team leading three-points with Carson Focht and Kaden Elder also chipping in a pair of assists. Goaltender Jack McNaughton ended with 25 saves in his first start since returning from injury.

Regina saw five different goal scores as Garrett Wright, Duncan Pierce, Austin Pratt, Carter Massier and Logan Nijhoff all lit up the lamp for the home side. Dean McNabb made 37 saves in the Pats in their second straight overtime win.

It was a back and forth affair as after Kastelic opened the scoring five minutes into the contest, the Pats would score two straight goals three minutes apart and held onto the lead until late in the frame. On the powerplay, Malm would strike with the puck deflecting off a Pats defender and into the net to send the contest squared up at two headed into the second.

Once again Regina would storm out with two goals, this time in under 10 minutes,  including a shorthanded marker to take a 4-2 lead. Just when it seemed the Hitmen were down and out of the contest both Yeryomenko and Malm would score three minutes apart late in the period to once again even up the game.

The two late goals seemed to be the boost that the Hitmen needed to put the game away but it was the Pats that came out strong in the third with a handful of chances to take the lead until the Hitmen turned it around. Both sides saw power play chances with Regina given a five-minute advantage, while the Hitmen were handed a two-minute opportunity late in the stanza but neither side could capitalize.

With 60 minutes solving nothing, all it took was 30 seconds for Regina to end the game and send the Hitmen packing up with just a single point.

Despite picking up points in 11 of their last 14 games posting a record of 9-3-2 in that span, the Hitmen will need a big bounce back performance Saturday night when they wrap up the trip in Swift Current.

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