This past week saw the Preeceville Midget Pats head into a busy schedule of hockey games, kicking it off December 7 on the road against the Moosomin Rangers, according to Kirby Pankratz, head coach.
The Pats started the scoring early in the first with an even strength goal only to have Moosomin answer right back. The Pats then potted a goal 34 seconds into a power play opportunity only to have the Rangers answer back before the end of the first period, knotting the game at 2 goals each.
“Hard luck bounces really hurt us after that, " said Pankratz. "We had an errant pass hit our own player in the back of the legs that let them steal it for a shorthanded goal to take the lead going into the third. Sometimes you’ve got to be lucky to be good and next time, good to be lucky."
Luck didn’t side with the Pats even though they seemed to hold the upper hand in the contest, hitting three goal posts in the third on numerous shot opportunities, only to see mishandled pucks carelessly get turned over for two more goals against the power play to finish the game in Moosomin’s favour, 5 to 3.
The next night at home the Pats played host to the Ochapawace Thunder in a re-scheduled game that saw the Pats roll to a one-sided victory by a 25 to 2 score.
“We expected to be able to have our way against Ochapawace, but the message to the guys was no matter the score, play the game the right way. We didn’t want to see bad habits or selfish play take a hold of them because of an easier opponent,” stated Pankratz.
On December 10, Preeceville faced the Yorkton Snap On Terriers in Preeceville, much to the excitement to many fans that were brave enough to come watch the Pats regardless of the extremely cold night. The Snap On Terriers were looking to revenge a trouncing by the Pats early in the season, and took a lead of 3 to 0 by the mid point of the second period. “Right after that third goal was scored I assured our bench that we would still win this game," forecasted Pankratz.
The score didn’t really dictate the type of game the Pats players were playing, as the opportunities were strongly in their favour and in the last two minutes of the second period they narrowed the lead and trailed 3 to 2. The third period was all about the Pats as their will and relentlessness took over the game, scoring three times for a 5 to 3 victory.
We’re very proud of the guys, it takes a lot of character and perseverance to rise up against the odds and battle through the adversity like that. I like the bond and belief our guys have in one another with a team first attitude to want to be successful," concluded Pankratz.