The absence of three veteran players didn’t slow down the Prince Albert Raiders Wednesday in Swift Current.
Despite Brett Leason and Ian Scott both being sidelined with lower body injuries and Sean Montgomery’s streak of 155 straight appearances in a Raiders uniform coming to an end due to an illness, the top team in the Western Hockey League continued their winning ways as they wrapped up a four-game road trip with a 3-1 triumph over the Swift Current Broncos.
“It wasn’t the most intense game, but I thought we played well,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said.
“If you look at the shot total (43-16 in favour of the Raiders) it gives you a good idea of how things went from our perspective.”
The Raiders were led on offence by Dante Hannoun as he scored a goal and helped to set up a pair of markers for linemate Parker Kelly.
“Those two have had some good chemistry going as of late,” Habscheid said. “Usually we have ‘Monty’ together with those guys, but they didn’t miss a beat with him being out of the lineup.”
Spencer Moe teamed up with Hannoun and Kelly at the Credit Union iPlex and had a pair of assists for the 46-7-0-2 Raiders, who have won their last five games.
Boston Bilous made 15 saves in his second straight start, with his only blemish coming on a third period goal by Joona Kiviniemi that was assisted by Prince Albert’s Alex Moar.
Isaac Poulter stopped 40 shots for the 10-39-2-2 Broncos, who have lost six in a row.
Wednesday’s contest also marked the WHL debut of 17-year-old forward Cole Nagy, who was called up from the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League’s Saskatoon Blazers earlier in the day.
“I thought he did really well for his first game,” Habscheid said. “Cole’s a strong guy and he’s a smart player. He went about things the right way.”
Nagy, who signed his standard player agreement with the Raiders in January, is second in the SMAAAHL in scoring with 63 points in 39 games.
The Raiders will return to the Art Hauser Centre Friday for the start of a weekend home-and-home series with the Brandon Wheat Kings.
The team will be wearing their throwback 1988-89 jerseys for the contest, which will be auctioned off following the game at the Ches Leach Lounge.
Although Noah Gregor and Cole Fonstad saw their six and five game point streaks end Wednesday, Dante Hannoun was able to extend his scoring streak to five games following a three-point night.
The Raiders hold a 4-1 advantage in the season series with the Broncos, which will conclude with a three games in six nights stretch from March 5-10.
Defenceman Austin Herron did not dress for the Broncos, along with forwards Ben King and Tyler Smithies.
- Brandon 5 Edmonton 2 (Stelio Mattheos – One Goal and Two Assists)
- Lethbridge 6 Calgary 2 (Jake Elmer – Two Goals and One Assist)
- Saskatoon 6 Medicine Hat 3 (Dawson Davidson – Three Assists)
- Kamloops 6 Victoria 1 (Connor Zary – Three Goals – First Career WHL Hat Trick)
Around the WHL
The Red Deer Rebels were slated to visit the Everett Silvertips Wednesday, but that game was postponed until Thursday evening as the team was unable to travel due to road closures in the Pacific Northwest.
Meanwhile, the Prince Albert Raiders remain second in the Canadian Hockey League’s top ten rankings behind the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, who have a 47-7-0-1 record and have won 17 straight games.
- Edmonton vs. Moose Jaw – 7 p.m.
- Red Deer vs. Everett – 9 p.m.
The Raiders have won all three meetings with the Wheat Kings so far this season and are currently on a six-game win streak at the Art Hauser Centre against their divisional rivals in a run that dates back to Feb. 15, 2017.
After a 5-2 win at home over the Edmonton Oil Kings Wednesday, the 24-22-3-4 Wheat Kings find themselves six points back of the Red Deer Rebels and the Calgary Hitmen in the race for the two wildcard spots in the Eastern Conference.
Prince Albert product Braden Schneider is second in defensive scoring for the Wheat Kings this year as he’s scored eight goals and dished out 11 helpers in 42 games during his sophomore campaign.
- Brandon vs. Prince Albert – 7 p.m.
- Edmonton vs. Regina – 7 p.m.
- Lethbridge vs. Swift Current – 7 p.m.
- Medicine Hat vs. Calgary – 8 p.m.
- Saskatoon vs. Kootenay – 8 p.m.
- Victoria vs. Prince George – 9 p.m.
- Everett vs. Kelowna – 9 p.m.
- Kamloops vs. Tri-City – 9 p.m.
- Spokane vs. Vancouver – 9:30 p.m.
- Red Deer vs. Seattle – 9:30 p.m.