On a night where the two top scorers in the Western Hockey League squared off, the Prince Albert Raiders showcased their depth.
Five different players found the back of the net for the top ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League Wednesday, as the Raiders picked up their 18th straight victory and extended their road win streak to eight games after a 6-3 triumph over the host Edmonton Oil Kings at Rogers Place.
“I felt the way we played when the game was at even strength was very similar to how things went for us last night in Red Deer,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said.
“Our transition game was really good and we moved the puck well, especially in the offensive zone. That created some havoc for their defence and allowed us to have some scoring opportunities.”
The only trouble the Raiders had Wednesday was in slowing down Oil Kings forward Trey Fix-Wolansky, who is in second in WHL scoring with 55 points.
The Columbus Blue Jackets draft pick provided all of the offence for his team as he picked up his second career hat trick.
“Wolansky has great offensive ability and he’ll make you pay if you let up out there,” Habscheid said.
“We had some let downs tonight that almost cost us, but once we got focused again, I felt like we played well.”
Parker Kelly had two goals and an assist in the opening period for the Raiders, as he extended his point streak to six games.
Brett Leason, who leads the WHL in points with 59, dished out three helpers during the contest and increased his league-best point streak to 26 games.
“When you combine them with (Sean) Montgomery, they can be tough to stop,” Habscheid said.
“However, we don’t want to be a one-line team and be relying on them all of the time. We’ve really prided ourselves on being a four-line team this year and your starting to see that a little bit more here lately.”
Blueliner Max Martin had a goal and an assist for the 25-1 Raiders, who also got goals from Brayden Pachal, Aliaksei Protas and Kody McDonald.
Ian Scott turned in a 31-save performance for his 21st win of the season, which is three off of his career high that he set last year.
Dylan Miskiw turned aside 29 shots for the 14-10-2-2 Oil Kings, who have lost three straight games but remain only one point behind the Red Deer Rebels for first place in the Central Division standings.
The Raiders will continue their seven-game road trip Saturday as they will pay a visit to the 8-17 Regina Pats at the Brandt Centre.
The last Oil Kings player to record a hat trick against the Raiders was Curtis Lazar during a 9-1 win on Oct. 4, 2013 at the Art Hauser Centre.
Fix-Wolansky also became the first opposing player to put the puck in the Raiders net on three occasions since Max Gerlach accomplished that feat for the Saskatoon Blades on March 17.
Leason’s 26-game point streak is the third best in the WHL since the 1996-97 season, which is as far back as stats go on the league website.
It also matches the run that Jeremy Bracco had for the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers in the 2016-17 campaign and Angelo Esposito’s streak for the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts during the 2005-06 season.
Kelly’s six-game streak is the longest of his WHL career, as the Ottawa Senators prospect put up points five straight games on three separate occasions last year.
Defenceman Lane Kirk and forward Eric Pearce did not dress for the Raiders Wednesday, while the Oil Kings scratched goaltender Todd Scott, blueliners Jacson Alexander, Will Warm and Aidan Lawson, along with forward Jalen Luypen.
- Brandon 5 Swift Current 1 (Luka Burzan – Two Goals and One Assist)
- Moose Jaw 3 Kootenay 1 (Josh Brook – One Goal and One Assist)
- Medicine Hat 6 Red Deer 2 (Ryan Jevne – Three Goals and One Assist – First Career Hat Trick)
- Vancouver 2 Kelowna 1 (Roman Basran – 32 Saves)
- Spokane 4 Prince George 0 (Bailey Brkin – 27 Saves – Second Shutout This Season and Third Career)
- Saskatoon 2 Victoria 1 (Dorrin Luding – 30 Saves)
- Everett 4 Portland 1 (Connor Dewar – One Goal and One Assist)
Around the WHL
Prior to their 3-1 win over the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook, the Moose Jaw Warriors announced that 19-year-old forward Ryan Peckford had left the team and had returned home.
“He wasn’t having fun playing the game any longer,” Warriors general manager Alan Millar said to Discover Moose Jaw’s Marc Smith Wednesday, two days after he met with Peckford.
“It wasn’t fun for him to come to the rink and he’d lost some passion for the game.”
Millar also said that the team was caught off guard by Peckford’s decision and that he hasn’t requested a trade.
The Stony Plain, Alta. product was fifth on the team in scoring with 16 points in 20 games and was coming off a five-point showing on Nov. 18 in a 9-1 win against the Ice.
The Warriors acquired Peckford and a fourth round pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft (Josh Hoekstra) from the Victoria Royals last December in exchange for current Raiders forward Noah Gregor.
- Regina vs. Brandon – 7:30 p.m.
- Moose Jaw vs. Edmonton – 8 p.m.
- Swift Current vs. Lethbridge – 8 p.m.
- Calgary vs. Red Deer – 8 p.m.
- Saskatoon vs. Kamloops – 9 p.m.
- Kelowna vs. Tri-City – 9 p.m.
- Kootenay vs. Seattle – 9:30 p.m.
- Spokane vs. Everett – 9:30 p.m.