Raiders return to win column in Brandon

The Prince Albert Raiders made sure there wasn’t any residual effects from a 3-2 shootout loss Tuesday night against the Swift Current Broncos.

In the final leg of a season-long seven game road trip Friday, the league-leading Raiders bounced back with a 5-2 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings at Westoba Place.

“It was a real character win,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said.

“I thought we played okay in Swift Current and we outshot them by quite a bit, but it’s still a loss at the end of the day. This is a group of guys that don’t like losing and they were determined to make sure that didn’t happen again tonight.”

The line of Cole Fonstad, Noah Gregor and Ozzy Wiesblatt led the way for the Raiders as they each had a goal and an assist during the second period of play.

Gregor and Wiesblatt’s goals would put the game out of reach for the Wheat Kings, as they each scored in a 25-second span late in the middle frame.

“All three guys are smart players with a lot of skill,” Habscheid said. “They played well off each other throughout the game, and that allowed them to generate chances on offence.”

Eric Pearce and Sean Montgomery also found the back of the net for the 27-1-0-1 Raiders, with Montgomery’s second period goal giving him a new single-season high in points with 30.

Brett Leason recorded an assist on Montgomery’s marker, which gives him a point in 29 straight games and the longest point streak in the WHL since the 1996-97 season.

Donovan Buskey improved his record to 5-0 on Friday as he made 24 saves.

“He’s one of those guys that is always working hard and has a positive attitude,” Hasbscheid said. “The guys want to play hard in front of him whenever he’s in goal, and Donovan’s played well when he’s had his opportunities.”

Linden McCorrister had a pair of assists for the 14-8-3-3 Wheat Kings, who saw a four-game win streak end Friday night.

Ben McCartney and Conor Gutenberg scored in the loss, while Jiri Patera made 36 saves.

The two sides will square off once again Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre.

The Raiders have won their last five games at home over the Wheat Kings, with Brandon’s last win in Prince Albert coming in a 4-3 affair on Oct. 15, 2016.

Post-Game Notes

Prior to Leason’s recent dominance, Swift Current Broncos forward Aleksi Heponiemi had the longest point streak in the WHL’s ‘Internet Era’ with a 28-game run last year.

Stellio Mattheos and Luka Burzan entered Friday’s game with six-game point streaks, but they were both held off of the score sheet by the Raiders.

Lane Kirk, Sergei Sapego and Aliaksei Protas did not dress for the visitors, while the Wheat Kings scratched Braden Schneider, Chase Hartje and Lynden McCallum.

Raiders prospect Tyson Laventure has been selected to suit up for Alberta at the 2019 Canada Winter Games, which will be held from Feb. 17-22 in Red Deer.

A second round pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft, the 15-year-old from Lloydminster has 40 points in 21 games this year for the OHA Edmonton prep school program.

Nineteen WHL draft picks are on the roster for Alberta, with the lone exception being highly-touted forward Matthew Savoie, who is expected to be the top pick in next year’s draft and could be the first player to be granted exceptional status into the league by Hockey Canada.

Friday’s Scores

  • Moose Jaw 3 Saskatoon 2 (Tristin Langan – One Goal and Two Assists)
  • Calgary 3 Swift Current 2 (Isaac Poulter – 42 Saves)
  • Red Deer 4 Regina 3 (Brett Davis Shootout Winner – Max Paddock – 32 Saves)
  • Kelowna 2 Victoria 0 (Roman Basran – 16 Saves – First Shutout This Season and Second Career – Griffen Outhouse – 30 Saves)
  • Portland 5 Prince George 2 (Jake Gricius – Three Assists)
  • Spokane 6 Lethbridge 2 (Eli Zummack – Four Assists)
  • Seattle 4 Tri-City 1 (Matthew Wedman – One Goal and One Assist)

Saturday’s Schedule

  • Saskatoon vs. Moose Jaw – 7 p.m.
  • Brandon vs. Prince Albert – 7 p.m.
  • Kamloops vs. Edmonton – 8 p.m.
  • Swift Current vs. Red Deer – 8 p.m.
  • Prince George vs. Portland – 8 p.m.
  • Everett vs. Seattle  – 8 p.m.
  • Regina vs. Medicine Hat – 8:30 p.m.
  • Victoria vs. Vancouver – 9 p.m.
  • Kootenay vs. Spokane – 9 p.m.
  • Lethbridge vs. Tri-City – 9 p.m.
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