Pre-season Roundup: de Wit strikes thrice as Pats down Blades

Keith Hershmiller


Regina’s Brandt Centre played host to a pair of WHL pre-season tilts Thursday, as the Swift Current Broncos faced the Moose Jaw Warriors for the second time in exhibition action while the Regina Pats took on the Saskatoon Blades.

Moose Jaw Warriors (5) at Swift Current Broncos (2) – Regina
Moose Jaw (1-1-0-0) // Swift Current (1-1-0-0)

A couple days after being shut out on home ice, the Moose Jaw Warriors exacted a bit of revenge on their East Division rivals, skating to a 5-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos in matinee action at the Brandt Centre in Regina.

The Warriors got a pair of two-goal efforts from veteran Justin Almeida and sophomore Luka Burzan. Defencemen Josh Brook and Jett Woo both chipped in with two assists apiece.

Almeida, the 18-year-old product of Kitimat, B.C., bookended the scoring. After opening with a power-play tally late in the first period, the former Prince George Cougar notched his second of the game at even strength with only 2:29 to go in regulation, sealing the 5-2 triumph.

Kole Gable managed to tie the affair midway through the second period, but Burzan restored the Warriors lead with another power-play marker before the second intermission.

Tyler Smithies, a 17-year-old product from Beaumont, Alta., provided what went on to stand as the eventual game-winning goal while Burzan added his second of evening for insurance.

Kaden Elder registered the other goal for Swift Current.

Between the pipes, Adam Evanoff logged the victory, making 13 saves on 14 shots. He split duties with Jackson Berry, who started the game and turned aside 13 of 14 shots as well.

For Swift Current, Bailey Brkin went the distance, making 34 saves on 39 shots.

Saskatoon Blades (3) at Regina Pats (5)
Saskatoon (0-1-0-0) // Regina (0-1-0-0)

Jeff de Wit cranked it up to open the 2017 WHL pre-season notching three goals to lead the Regina Pats to a 5-3 victory over the Saskatoon Blades Thursday evening.

De Wit, a 19-year-old product from Red Deer, opened the scoring 7:39 into play. After Cameron Hebig got the Blades on the board early in the second period, de Wit restored the Regina advantage with his second of the night.

Egor Zamula, a 17-year-old import defenceman from Chelyabinsk, Russia, padded the Pats lead midway through the second period, though Jackson Caller got Saskatoon back within a strike late in the middle period.

De Wit completed the hat trick 9:37 into the third period, scoring what went to stand as the eventual game-winning goal. Tristen Robins, a 15-year-old product of Brandon, Man., notched first goal of the pre-season to make it a 5-2 game.

Gage Ramsay added one final mark for the Blades with only 49 seconds to go in regulation, rounding out the scoring.

In net, Kurtis Chapman secured the victory, stopping 12 of 14 shots while sharing duties with Max Paddock, who blocked 22 of 23 shots in the start.

For Saskatoon, Nolan Maier went the distance, steering aside 36 of 41 shots.

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