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Regina Pats look to find groove following slow start to WHL season

WATCH: Regina Pats, Winnipeg Ice highlights from March 23, 2021.

The Regina Pats are still trying to find their groove early in the 2021 Western Hockey League season.

Through six games, the Pats own a record of 1-3-2 for second-last place in the East Division.

The Pats are coming off an 8-3 loss to the Winnipeg Ice Tuesday night – a tough pill to swallow for head coach Dave Struch.

Read more: Excitement grows for Regina Pats’ season opener against Prince Albert Raiders

“Right from the beginning, we started turning pucks over. Everybody turned it over tonight,” Struch said. “We definitely needed to get more pucks in behind them.”

With a 5-1 record, the Ice are considered to be a top team in the division. By no means did Struch think the game would be easy, however, he was looking for a better all-around effort.

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“The winning plan was to keep the puck out of their hands,” Struch said.

“The only way to do that was to get the puck deep behind their defence and make them turn on it. We didn’t do that at all.”

The Pats dressed a relatively inexperienced backend on Tuesday that included Marcus Taylor, Parker Berge and Layton Feist. Combined, they have played in 15 WHL games.

Read more: Regina Pats’ Logan Nijhoff becomes 80th captain in team history

“There’s some exposure there, most definitely. But it’s a good experience for them to play against the high-end skill that Winnipeg has,” Struch said.

“We could have made it so much easier if we would have just stuck to the plan that we put out there.”

Feist is 17 years old and is considered to be an important piece of the Pats’ future. With just six WHL games under his belt, there will be some growing pains along the way.

“I’m trying to play all the games basically and move myself up in the lineup for next year,” Feist said. “(I’m) just trying to get better every game.

It’s way faster and all the players are way stronger. I have to keep working out and get stronger.”

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The Pats are back at it Thursday night when they play the Prince Albert Raiders. Game time is 4 p.m. and it can be streamed on WHL Live.

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