The possible first-overall pick in the upcoming NHL draft didn’t disappoint when visiting the capital city of his home province this weekend.
The Regina Pats, headlined by the star-forward Connor Bedard, faced off against the Victoria Royals at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Saturday (Nov. 26).
The matchup was the second leg of a B.C. road trip for the Pats, which has seen seats selling like crazy in arenas across the province as fans flock to see North Vancouver’s Bedard make his homecoming. Saturday was no exception as a crowd of more than 7,000 fans showed up to see the WHL’s leading scorer.
The Royals are winless in November and were coming off two lopsided losses to Prince George before the matchup against the Pats.
Saturday had lots of offence on both sides, but Bedard’s four-point night complimented by a four-goal performance from Regina’s Tanner Howe, powered the Pats’ 9-5 win.
Bedard, who’s opened a 23-point gap ahead of the league’s next-highest scorer, polished off a hat trick before two periods were up. Two of those came on partial breaks as the speedy 17-year-old beat out backtracking Royals defenders.
Bedard said postgame that the entire Pats team was excited to be in front of packed stands.
“You thrive under that, playing in front of a full building, especially with the energy we had yesterday and today,” he said. “I think our coaches would have wanted it a little more low-scoring but for us offensive guys it’s pretty fun.”
Royals forwards Alex Thacker and Jake Poole had three points each in the loss, while Brayden Schuurman added two goals after returning from injury.
The Pats play in Kelowna on Tuesday before capping their B.C. trip with games in Kamloops and Prince George. The Royals host the Moose Jaw Warriors at 7:05 p.m. on Nov. 29 at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.
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