Even though 16-year-old goalie Kelton Pyne was impressive in his first WHL start, the Regina Pats fell 6-3 in Edmonton on Tuesday.

Kelton Pyne of the Regina Pats makes a save on the Edmonton Oil Kings' Josh Williams Tuesday at Rogers Place.
Kelton Pyne of the Regina Pats makes a save on the Edmonton Oil Kings’ Josh Williams Tuesday at Rogers Place. Photo by Andy Devlin /Edmonton Oil Kings

Improbably, the Regina Pats made a game of it Tuesday afternoon at Rogers Place in Edmonton.


Down to one goaltender — 16-year-old Kelton Pyne, who was making his WHL debut — the Pats threw a scare into the formidable Edmonton Oil Kings, who ultimately withstood a Regina rally and won 6-3.

The Pats entered a three-game Alberta road swing, which concluded Tuesday, with one healthy experienced goaltender — Matthew Kieper. As a result, Pyne was called up from the under-18 Regina Pat Canadians, presumably for backup duty.

However, the 17-year-old Kieper was concussed Sunday when Sean Tschigerl scored in overtime to give the Calgary Hitmen a 5-4 victory. With 18-year-old netminder Drew Sim still unavailable — also due to a concussion — head coach and general manager John Paddock was left with no choice but to start Pyne in the Tuesday matinee.

The White City product made 36 saves, earning praise from Paddock, as Regina (16-22-1-1) saw its losing streak swell to six games. Sebastian Cossa stopped 17 shots for Edmonton (32-11-2-1), the CHL’s second-ranked team.

“I thought Pyner was very solid,” Paddock said from Edmonton. “He gave us a chance to win.

“It was 3-3 with about 15 minutes left in the game. You couldn’t ask for much more than that.

“I thought he looked very comfortable in there, playing one of the top-ranked teams in maybe the best arena in the NHL as far as newness. It created a lot of nervous energy before the game, that’s for sure.”

Edmonton led 3-0 after goals by Jaxsen Wiebe, Devin Guenther and Jalen Luypen. Edmonton had a chance to go up 4-0, but Pyne stopped Guenther on a second-period penalty shot.


Regina rallied with three straight goals of its own — two by Stanislav Svozil and one by Connor Bedard. Svozil and Bedard scored 1: 12 apart early in the third period to create a 3-3 tie.

However, Jakub Demek soon restored Edmonton’s lead before Simon Kubicek and Williams added insurance tallies.

“I don’t think we had a great start, but we came back and made it even,” Paddock said. “You can’t take seven penalties against anybody. That was a sore spot.

“They’re a good team and we haven’t been outshot like that maybe in any game except against Winnipeg this year. That’s what happens. We used to do that to teams four or five years ago. The other team has the puck more.

“They get more shots and you’re chasing, so you’re liable to get more penalties. That’s the opposition we were up against. But I thought there were some positives.”

The Pats are to return to action Friday against Calgary (7 p.m., Brandt Centre).

With neither Kieper nor Sim expected to be available for that game, the Pats will dress Pyne and Spencer Welke. The plan is to call up Welke, who played in four games with the Pats over the previous two seasons, from the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks.

Had Pyne been forced to leave the game to due to injury, 18-year-old Justen Maric of Red Deer — a member of the Alberta Elite Hockey League’s under-18 AAA CAC Canadians — was waiting in the wings.

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