One night after their come-from-behind win against Seattle, the Prince Albert Raiders were held scoreless in a 2-0 loss to the Everett Silvertips in Western Hockey League action on Wednesday.
Silvertips goalie Carter Hart backed his side to a 25-shot shutout win, helped in part by a lackluster Raiders’ offence that saw its shot count decline each period, from 13 to eight to four shots, respectively.
The visiting team also took nine penalties in the game, eight of which kept them at a player-disadvantage on the ice for 16 total minutes.
“There’s no excuse or anything, but I just thought tonight we were just tired. We had a tired bunch. Everett hadn’t played for a while (in three days), and we just looked tired,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said.
“I thought the try was there, but they’re just tired physically and made some mental mistakes. But all in all, the group was tired.”
The Raiders and the Silvertips skated to an evenly-matched first period where each team went scoreless and tallied 13 shots against its opponent.
But Everett exploded in the second period with 20 shots on net, managing to get one by goalie Ian Scott to gain a 1-0 lead.
Skating down the left side into the faceoff circle, Sean Richards fired a wrist shot past Scott’s blocker at 6:08 of the period. Kevin Davis assisted.
“We didn’t have a lot of jump.
“Everett’s a quick, fast team, and they play a pressure game. We didn’t have our best legs and it showed. We couldn’t get there and we were a step behind. We were chasing them the whole game.”
Still, Scott managed to keep his team in it for the rest of the period and well into the third.
“I thought we were right with them the whole game. It’s just tough to score when we keep putting ourselves in bad positions and on the penalty kill,” Scott said after the loss.
“That’s just something we’re trying to work on and we really have to stress.”
He said scoring against Hart is tough on a good night: “They have him to bail them out.”
The Toronto Maple Leafs’ draftee said that even though his defence and his forwards let through 42 shots from the Silvertips, he’s not disappointed with them.
“I think our defence did a pretty good job this game, actually. Everett’s a fast team, and they just waited to take their opportunities to strike, and they made them count.”
That Raiders defence did tighten up in the third period, only allowing nine shots on Scott.
When asked about his goalie giving his team a chance to win, Habscheid said, “He was ok. You’re not going to score, you just don’t score. So that’s the way it is.”
The Raiders (9-8-3-0) are off on Thursday. They travel to Kennewick, Wash., on Friday to play the Tri-City Americans. Game time is 9:05 p.m. CST.
NOTES: Scott’s 40 saves on 42 shots gave him a 0.952 save percentage, moving him to third overall in the WHL in that stat category with 0.924; Hart is first in the category at 0.941 … Centreman Jordy Stallard’s scoreless night ends his point-streak at 12 consecutive games, which dates back to Oct. 14 when the Raiders played in Brandon; over those 12 games he tallied 22 points … Going by penalty minutes, Raiders’ defenceman Brayden Pachal is the third-most penalized player in the league, with 43 minutes over 17 games; he took two penalties Wednesday night, but neither one resulted in a powerplay goal for Everett … Prince Albert is the only team in the league with two players among the WHL’s top-ten most penalized, Pachal and fellow defenceman Zach Hayes, who is in ninth spot with 38 minutes.