Skip to content

Bedard puts up hat trick, five points as Pats roll to win over Warriors

More than 4,900 fans pack Moose Jaw Events Centre for Pats phenom's final visit, see Regina take 7-3 win

Moose Jaw Warriors fans came out in force to check out the Connor Bedard Show one last time on Saturday night at the Moose Jaw Events Centre. 

And while the 17-year-old Regina Pats phenom did his part with a hat trick and five points on the night, he wasn’t the only one on a roll.

Goaltender Drew Sim made 45 saves, Braxton Whitehead had a goal and three points and the Pats battled to a 7-3 victory at the Moose Jaw Events Centre in front of over 4,900 fans, the largest regular-season crowd in recent history.

The loss dropped the Warriors’ record to 39-23-0-3, and with a Lethbridge win in Edmonton on Saturday, Moose Jaw now holds a five-point lead over the Hurricanes for home-ice advantage in the first round of the Western Hockey League playoffs.

There is some good news -- with only three games remaining on both teams’ schedules, the Warriors need a single point and the Hurricanes need to win the remainder of their games in order for their places to flip.

For Saturday night, though, it was a chance for Bedard to once again show what he’s capable of in front of packed house, and he once again delivered, even if the final result wasn’t what Warrior fans would have liked to see.

“We played a solid game, that’s a good team over there and yesterday we made a few too many mistakes and gave them a lot of scoring chances,” Bedard said, referring to the Warriors' 9-5 victory in Regina on Friday .”So today it was good to get back out there and have a good game and help the team win.”

While there’s little question that as Bedard goes, so go the Pats, the success they’ve seen in their playoff push has seen a fair share of secondary scoring. While he was in on all five of Regina’s goals the previous game -- yes, Bedard had 10 points in two games against the Warriors this weekend -- two of the Pats’ first three goals saw him kept off the scoresheet.

“We’ve had that a lot in games where we’ve had success, that’s how you win and that’s going to be big for us going into the playoffs,” Bedard said of his teammates chipping in offensively.

Much like the previous night, the Pats got off to a good start, but this time added an extra pair of goals to their ledger in the early going.

Regina got into penalty trouble early, but would still be the first to hit the scoresheet. Parker Berge picked up a turnover in the neutral zone and went in on a three-on-one before beating Warriors goaltender Jackson Unger with a shot off the far post.

Former Warrior Riley Ginnell then made it 2-0 four minutes later, finding a long rebound off a shot by Bedard and putting a shot into the wide-open net.

Braxton Whitehead then made it 3-0 Regina with just over eight minutes to play in the period, with Regina scoring three goals on their first four shots.

The Warriors got one back 47 seconds later, with Robert Baco breaking into the Regina zone and finding Martin Rysavy at the side of the net for the tap-in.

Moose Jaw pulled within one with four minutes gone in the period, and it was a weird one. Tate Schofer picked the puck off the end boards and put it to the front of the Regina goal, only for Whitehead to chip the puck into his own net while trying to give it to Sim to cover. Schofer was given credit for the marker.

The one-goal deficit lasted until midway through the period, when Bedard scored on the power play to make it a 4-2 game, and he’d put home his second marker on the man advantage three minutes later to make it a three-goal Regina edge.

A four-on-three power play late in the period gave the Warriors a chance to get back into things, and they’d capitalize. Jagger Firkus fired home a shot from the point after a handful of chances earlier in the man advantage, with the goal coming with seven seconds remaining in the frame.

The Warriors pressed for the tying goal in the third period, but it would instead be Regina who struck twice.

Zack Stringer made it 6-3 at the 11:32 mark of the period, and Bedard finished things off with an empty net goal with 3:03 remaining, giving him hat tricks in back-to-back games against the Warriors.

The major reason for the huge crowd Saturday was the fact that barring multiple strange turns of events, Bedard will have played his last game at the Moose Jaw Events Centre. He’s made no secret of enjoying the rivalry in interviews throughout his career, and that hasn’t changed now that Moose Jaw is in his rearview mirror.

“They’ve always been good games, we’ve had some fun and it’s obviously been a pretty big rivalry,” Bedard said. “And you never know, we might even see them in the playoffs.”

Unger had 16 saves in the Warriors’ net.

Moose Jaw will have their first chance to lock down home ice advantage on Wednesday night when they travel to Winnipeg. Next home action is their final game of the regular season on Saturday night when they take on the Saskatoon Blades. Game time is 7 p.m.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks