Stallard injured as Raiders look to continue win streak in P.A.
After a week on the road the Prince Albert Raiders are back at the Art Hauser Centre, and while they brought with them a three-game winning streak, that success came at a cost.
Recently acquired forward Jordy Stallard, who scored seven points during the team’s four-game Central Division tour, suffered an “upper-body injury” during P.A.’s 3-2 overtime win in Calgary on Sunday. Head coach Marc Habscheid said the Raiders’ scoring leader is “out probably week-to-week.”
Stallard’s absence poses a challenge to the Raiders, who this year are the lowest-scoring team in the WHL. Despite the setback, Habscheid said the team is feeling positive and motivated after stringing together three-straight victories on the road.
“Winning always makes everything a little bit easier. It makes your legs a little bit lighter, it makes the shots go a little bit faster and the passes a little bit more accurate and that’s called confidence. And confidence is a great thing and if you don’t have it, it’s tough to get and if you have it it’s tough to lose,” Habscheid said.
“Right now we feel good about ourselves and good about our game and feel that we can compete with any team.”
Part of the Raiders’ recent success can be attributed to goalie Nicholas Sanders. Although he backstopped the team to its three weekend victories, he said the wins were team efforts.
“Everyone was playing well, they were keeping shots from the outside for the most part and clearing traffic in front of the net so I could see the shots and they made it pretty easy for me,” he said.
“Everyone’s feeling really good right now. We can’t get too high right now, we’ve still got a long way to go, but everyone’s feeling a little bit better about themselves. Confidence is a little bit higher, which is definitely a good thing.”
The Raiders host the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Friday. This is the second time the teams play this year. The last time the teams met the Hurricanes came away with a 5-1 victory and outshot P.A. by a 41-25 margin.
After a stretch in which the Raiders played eight games in 12 nights, the Raiders were given a break from competitive play this week to focus on on- and off-ice training. Habscheid said he’s looking forward to facing the Hurricanes on friendly ice.
“This is our home, this is our home rink,” he said.
“Everyone’s always more comfortable playing at home with the fans on our side.”
Tale of the Tape:
On Jan 27 the Lethbridge Hurricanes travel to the Art Hauser Centre to take on the Prince Albert Raiders. This is the second of four games the teams will play this season and the first to be played in P.A.
Record: Prince Albert — 11-34-3-2; Lethbridge — 26-15-4-3
Last 10: Prince Albert — 3-5-2-0; Lethbridge — 6-2-1-1
Top scorers: Prince Albert — Jordy Stallard (37 points); Lethbridge — Tyler Wong (67 points)
Goals for/against: Prince Albert — 124/212; Lethbridge — 184/181
Last meeting: Giorgio Estephan scored two goals and an assist to help lead the Hurricanes to a 5-1 win over the Raiders at the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge, Alta. on Nov. 30 2016.