Nick Henry scores hat trick as Pats eliminate rival Broncos from Memorial Cup

News source from CTV News

Nick Henry scored a hat trick as the Regina Pats eliminated Western Hockey League rival the Swift Current Broncos from the Memorial Cup with a 6-5 victory on Wednesday night.

Regina’s victory at the Canadian major junior championship concluded round-robin play and means the Pats will face the Ontario Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs in Friday’s semifinal.

The Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, meanwhile, advanced to Sunday’s championship game.

Cameron Hebig, Bryce Platt and Libor Hajek also scored for the Pats (2-1), who got five assists from captain Sam Steel. Josh Mahura tacked on two helpers.

Glenn Gawdin struck twice with Beck Malenstyn, Aleksi Heponiemi and Giorgio Estephan rounding out the attack for Swift Current (0-3), which won the WHL championship.

The Broncos had eliminated Regina during the first round of the WHL playoffs in early April, forcing the Pats to wait over six weeks for their next game.

Max Paddock made 26 saves for the win in net as Stuart Skinner turned away 22-of-28 shots in defeat.

A five-goal second period broke the game open thanks in large part to Steel’s passing brilliance.

Hebig received a pass from Steel at the side of the net and tapped it in at 10:29 with the man advantage.

Gawdin, a Calgary Flames prospect, finally got the Broncos on the board when a shot from a tough angle slipped past Paddock at 11:46.

Regina regained its two-goal advantage while shorthanded late in the second. Steel and Henry broke away for a 2-on-1 with Henry finishing it off.

Just 22 seconds later, Swift Current came back down the other end of the ice and Melenstyn scored off a back-door pass on the power play.

Henry finished off a his hat trick 57 seconds after the Broncos’ goal when Steel found him again off an odd-man rush. Steel leads the tournament with 11 points.

Platt added insurance midway through the third when he waited out Skinner before deking to his backhand and sliding it into the net. He hadn’t scored since a regular-season game on Dec. 15.

But the Broncos made it a game that started with Heponiemi’s goal off a wrist shot at 14:22 of the third. Estephan then scored with just over three minutes left to pull within one with Skinner pulled.

A too-many men penalty with 2:12 remaining squashed any chance of a comeback. Hajek scored on the ensuing man advantage with a wrist shot from the slot.

Gawdin added a power-play goal at 19:10.

The crowd at Brandt Centre started to get on Skinner early by chanting his name before the game even started.

Regina struck first when Henry one-timed a cross-ice pass past Skinner on the power play at 7:36 of the opening period. Skinner was coming off a 54-save defeat on Monday against Hamilton

Paddock got the start in net after allowing six goals on Sunday against the Titan and getting pulled after the second period.

Notes: The Broncos were without forward Tyler Steenbergen for a second-straight game after he we was injured in the Broncos’ opener against Acadie-Bathurst.

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