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Connor Bedard shines at Calgary WHL game, leads Regina to shootout win

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Calgary's Scotiabank Saddledome was packed to the rafters with fans eager to take a look at Canadian phenom Connor Bedard and the 17-year-old did not fail to impress.

The Regina Pats faced the Calgary Hitmen in the latter team's third of five straight games on Wednesday night.

Blake Heward opened up scoring for Calgary, but that was soon matched by an unassisted goal from Bedard.

The second period, however, was dominated by the Hitmen, following a late first period power play goal from Carter Yaremchuk.

Tomis Marinkovic made it 3-1 for the Hitmen going into the third period, with the home team outshooting Regina 39-24.

But that's when Regina began its comeback, with Tanner Brown and Alexander Suzdalev helping tie the game. The Hitmen's Sean Tschigerl regained the lead with his 16th goal of the season, but Braxton Whitehead evened the score again for Regina.

The third period wrapped up with two more goals – one for each team – from London Hoilett for Calgary and another from Whitehead for Regina.

The game's overtime was scoreless, making both teams settle the game with a shootout, where Bedard scored the only goal, winning it for the Pats 6-5.

The Saddledome was a packed house for the game, with the Hitmen saying 16,700 tickets had been sold by the afternoon.

Usually with Hitmen games, just the lower bowl of the arena is open to fans, but this time it opened up seats all the way to the press level.

The Western Hockey League game, also televised on TSN, offered the largest in-house audience of Bedard's career.

"I'm pretty sure that would be the most," Bedard said in a pre-game meeting with media at a downtown Calgary hotel.

"It's a lot, so it's exciting for all of us to have that and I think that's something you don't really get tired of."

The Hitmen's next game will be on Saturday against the Edmonton Oil Kings.

The event will be the team's Every Child Matters game, held in partnership with Siksika Health Services.

(With files from the Canadian Press)

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