Raiders down Blades for first preseason win

The Prince Albert Raiders congratulate Sean Montgomery after his first of two third period goals during WHL preseason action on Friday. The Raiders beat the visiting Saskatoon Blades 3-2 on goals from Montgomery and Carson Miller. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Sean Montgomery broke open a tie game with two third period goals as the Prince Albert Raiders downed the Saskatoon Blades in their second game of the preseason.

Carson Miller also scored for the Raiders, who beat the Blades 3-2 in front of a hometown crowd at the Art Hauser Centre on Friday.

“We got pucks out of our zone and started working them down low, ended up getting a few shots and some went in,” Montgomery said afterwards. “We’ve just got to keep building on that until the start of the season.”

The Raiders opened the scoring early in the third period, when Miller beat Blades starting goalie Nolan Maier to make it 1-0.

Despite outshooting the visitors 10-6 in the opening frame, the Raiders needed a few big saves from Curtis Meger to get into the second period with the lead.

Meger’s biggest first period stop, a desperation stick save, drew rave reviews from his teammates.

“He was huge for us,” Montgomery said. “He got first star and it was well deserved.”

“You can’t plan those out,” a smiling Meger said after the game. “Those saves kind of happen out of the ordinary, but the guy had a wide open net, so I just tried to get something over there. Thankfully I got a stick on it.”

Despite Meger’s efforts, the Blades tied things up at one during a penalty-filled second period. Seth Bafaro converted on the power play roughly five minutes into the second. The two teams wracked up a number of coincidental minors in a chippy 20 minutes of play.

Montgomery broke the deadlock halfway through the final frame, with assists to D-Jay Jerome and Zack Hayes. The Calgary, Alta. product added another goal on a two-on-one exactly five minutes later, providing all the offence Prince Albert would need.

“(It felt) really good,” Montgomery said when asked about his third period offensive outburst. “It’s good to get the first couple (of goals) out of the way.”

The Blades made things close in the final minute when Josh Paterson scored on another power play. However, that’s as close as the visitors got.

Prince Albert’s 3-2 victory was their first of the preseason. They’ll try for two in a row on Saturday, when they head south to Warman for another date with the Blades. Puck drop is 7 p.m.