Questionable goalie interference call hands Raiders eighth straight loss in spirited affair; Glover returns
For the third consecutive home game, the Prince Albert Raiders found themselves staring across the rink at a face they knew all too well. Former third year Raider Austin Glover, along with his new club in the Red Deer Rebels came to town for a roller coaster of a contest. A 4-3 win on a controversial call spun in favor of Red Deer on a night that could have gone either way.
“It was an emotional game, there was a lot of intensity to it,” head coach Marc Habscheid said following the loss.
“That’s what you want to see out of our guys … We want to win hockey games, we are disappointed we didn’t win but we are playing better, so wins will come.”
Michael Spacek and Adam Musil, who both accompanied Vojtech Budik and Simon Stransky at the World Juniors, took over the game late in the third. Spacek put on a clinic, weaving through several Raider blue liners to tie the contest before Musil scored the game winner on the power play. The notch that cemented the win for Red Deer came via a questionable goalie interference call on Tim Vanstone, who was hauled off for two minutes for driving hard to the net with the puck.
“It was not a penalty,” an unforgiving Habscheid said.
Glover was able to manage an assist on Lane Zablocki’s tying marker in the second period, and spoke about what it was like to come back to Prince Albert.
“Obviously the emotions were pretty high in the first period, it took me a little while to get settled in and find my stride,” he said.
“They played really well tonight and it was a really good game … There were a couple times where you skate by a guy and say something but no, it was a pretty competitive game tonight so there wasn’t a lot of talking going on, it was a fun game.”
The Raiders carried the momentum they found in the back half of their tilt against the Calgary Hitmen in the opening frame tonight. Kolby Johnson was denied on a partial breakaway before Parker Kelly lifted Prince Albert to a 1-0 lead. The goal would cease to exist if it wasn’t for the effort from Max Martin to keep the puck inside Red Deer territory. Martin, who was playing against his brother Dawson, toed the blue line to keep the play alive resulting in Kelly’s sixth of the season.
Martin reflected on playing against his sibling once the adrenaline wore off.
“It was pretty neat,” he noted.
“I haven’t played against him in a real competitive game, but you can’t really think about that in the game. He’s just another player on the ice and you just have to focus on the game.”
Jordy Stallard registered the second assist, giving him two points in as many games since joining Prince Albert.
The green and gold struck again three minutes later, scoring their fourth power play goal in the last five games courtesy of captain Vanstone. Number 16 followed up his own rebound on the short side of the cage, sweeping the puck across the goal line to double the Raider lead.
For as good as Prince Albert was in the first period, Red Deer was equally as solid in the middle stanza. Austin Crossley did what he could to set the tone once the puck dropped with his first WHL fight, but it was the Rebels capitalizing twice on a subsequent five-on-three opportunity to tie the game at two.
Alexander Alexeyev tallied his fourth on a point shot, allowing former Regina Pat, Zablocki, to deposit his 11th as the five-on-four advantage wore off. Moments before the tying goal, it was Dawson Martin dropping to his knees to block a Stransky shot at an open cage. Martin’s potential game-saving stop came off a Riley Lamb turnover from behind the Red Deer net.
Curtis Miske restored the Raiders lead just 48 seconds into the third period. Cavin Leth circled around the top of the faceoff dot, blasting a shot off the stick of Miske and in. It was his second goal since coming over from Spokane, his seventh of the campaign.
Unfortunately for Prince Albert, their third period lead would evaporate with a pair of goals from Spacek and Musil.
Prince Albert now looks forward to a home-and-home series against the Pats this weekend. The green and gold travel to Regina tomorrow before a Sunday matinee at the Art Hauser Centre on Sunday.
Daily Herald THREE STARS
Michael Spacek (1 G, 1 A)
Max Martin (1 A)
Adam Musil (GWG)
In the final frame Brandon Schuldhaus got the best of Stransky at the Raiders’ blue line. A bone crunching hit kept number 23 down on the ice for a few minutes. There has been no update on his status.
Second period scuffle
There was bad blood in between the benches midway through the second period as both coach Habscheid and Kolby Johnson were heated — pleading with officials for an explanation. Habscheid wouldn’t go into detail but did say that a member of the Rebels stepped over a boundary.
“Something was said on the ice [to Johnson], which crossed the line” he recalled.
“I’m going to stick up for my players every time. That’s not called for and I hope the league looks into it.”