REGINA, SK – One day after having their Teddy Bear Toss night spoiled, the Medicine Hat Tigers did the same to the Regina Pats on Sunday afternoon in a come from behind 3-2 victory.
Down by a pair of goals entering the third period, the Tigers mounted a furious comeback with 18 shots and a trio of goals to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat at home to Lethbridge.
Regina struck quickly in the first period, potting their first goal of the afternoon 6:28 into the game from Sergei Alkhimov to send the teddy bears flying down from the rafters to give the Pats a 1-0 lead.
After the stuffed animals were cleared off the ice, Regina kept their momentum rolling with a goal from Austin Pratt less than a minute later to double the Pats lead after one period of play.
The Tigers and Pats traded chances in the second period including a number of power plays each, however the score remained 2-0 at the second intermission.
That was until Bryan Lockner hit the ice early in the third period, ripping a laser beam short side on Pats goalie Max Paddock to cut the deficit in half 1:19 into the final frame.
Tigers prospect and AP call-up Cole Sillinger made his name known just a few minutes later, setting up Josh Williams with a cross seam dish to tie the game at 2-2 approaching the midway point of the third.
Dressing in just his second career WHL game, Sillinger’s assist on the game-tying goal served as his first career WHL point.
Medicine Hat continued to pour on offence as the third period went along, but Paddock was up to the task and it seemed as though both sides were headed for overtime.
However, the Tigers captain stepped up in the clutch with James Hamblin netting his 16th of the season with just 90 seconds remaining in regulation to put the Tigers into the lead for the first time.
Regina pulled Paddock late for the extra attacker, but Jordan Hollett and the rest of the Tigers were able to hold the fort to earn a thrilling 3-2 victory.
After a shaky start to the game, Hollett settled in against his former team and made 30 saves on 32 shots to register his sixth victory of the season.
As for Hamblin, he extended his goal scoring streak to four games on Sunday and has posted seven points over that time.
Improving to a 13-13-1-2 record through 29 games, the Tigers are two points ahead of the Calgary Hitmen for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot and sit two points back of the Hurricanes for third in the Central Division.
Medicine Hat continues their eastern road trip on Tuesday, with their next stop coming two provinces over against the Brandon Wheat Kings at 6:00 pm.
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