For the second time this season, the Prince Albert Raiders have rattled off seven straight victories.
Their most recent triumph came Wednesday at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw as the Raiders topped the host Warriors by a score of 4-2.
“It was a good game for us and a tough battle until the very end,” Raiders forward Carson Miller said.
“We got into a little bit of penalty trouble there late but we were able to bare down and came away with the win.”
The most notable penalty of the contest came with 3:37 to go as the Raiders were nursing a one-goal lead.
After being turned aside by Adam Evanoff on two shorthanded scoring chances, Noah Gregor was given a five major penalty for cross checking and a game misconduct for a hit on Warriors blueliner Jett Woo.
The Raiders killed off a short five-on-three situation and then brought a halt to the Warriors six-on-four power play with 1:24 left as Brett Leason slid the puck into an empty net.
“We didn’t agree with the call, but when you are in an adverse situation like that you need to find a way to get through it,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said.
“We got a great block from ‘Monty’ (Sean Montgomery) on that quick five-on-three and we were able to kill the rest of that power play off.”
The resiliency that the Raiders showed is what stood out the most to Habscheid from Wednesday’s contest, as the top ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League improved their record to 14-1.
“Teams want to beat us and we’re the hunted now instead of being the hunter,” Habscheid said.
“Everyone’s bringing their best game each time we play and that just pushes us to be better.”
Miller got things going on offence with a pair of goals in the opening frame, as he converted a nice feed from linemate Spencer Moe to put the Raiders in front and fired a long-range shot by Evanoff a few minutes later.
“Our line (which also includes Cole Fonstad) played a lot together in our 16-year-old season, but we hadn’t played a lot yet this year,” Miller said.
“We’ve been working hard in practice to try and get some breakthroughs on offence, which is what we were able to do in the first period.”
Leason had a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to 15 straight games, while Kaiden Guhle scored his first career WHL goal on a point shot during a second period power play.
Miller had an assist on Guhle’s marker to complete a three point night.
Fonstad had a pair of helpers in the win, which saw Ian Scott make 25 saves.
Tristin Langan and Keenan Taphorn replied for the 5-4-2-0 Warriors, who received a 33-save performance from Evanoff.
“We stubbed our toe at the end there on that power play as we tried to force some plays that weren’t there and they ended up scoring on us,” Warriors head coach Tim Hunter said.
“There’s some positives that we can build on from tonight, but we are still looking for players that can play on a consistent basis at this level.”
The Raiders will be back in action Saturday night as they play host to the Regina Pats in a 7 p.m. tilt at the Art Hauser Centre.
Nolan Allan, the third overall pick in May’s WHL Bantam Draft, was in the Raiders lineup for the second straight night and was once again paired with Konrad Belcourt on the blueline.
Prior to the game, Kaiden Guhle and Ozzy Wiesblatt found out that they will be on Canada Red and Canada White respectively for the upcoming World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in New Brunswick next month.
Kaeden and Keenan Taphorn became the first twin brothers to suit up for the Warriors Wednesday after they were acquired from the Kootenay Ice in a trade earlier in the week.
Blueliners Lane Kirk, Max Martin and Sergei Sapego were not in the Raiders lineup Friday, along with forward Kody McDonald.
The Warriors did not dress defencemen Brenden Kwiatkowski and Drae Gardiner, along with forward Kale Clouston and Jesse Mistelbacher.
- Everett 3 Saskatoon 0 (Dustin Wolf – 23 Saves – First Shutout of the Season and Fifth in WHL Career)
- Kootenay 4 Brandon 3 (Peyton Krebs Overtime Winner – Jaeger White – Two Goals and One Assist)
- Medicine Hat 4 Red Deer 1 (James Hamblin – One Goal and Two Assists)
- Tri-City 4 Prince George 3 (Isaac Johnson Shoutout Winner – Cole Moberg – One Goal and One Assist)
- Everett vs. Moose Jaw – 7 p.m.
- Medicine Hat vs. Regina – 7 p.m.
- Saskatoon vs. Red Deer – 7 p.m.
- Lethbridge vs. Calgary – 7 p.m.
- Edmonton vs. Kootenay – 7 p.m.
- Portland vs. Spokane – 8 p.m.
- Kamloops vs. Seattle – 8:30 p.m.