Ilya Usau’s first round goal proved to be all that the Prince Albert Raiders needed in the post-game skills competition Friday as they improved to 3-1 in Western Hockey League exhibition play with a 3-2 shootout triumph over the Regina Pats at the Brandt Centre.
Ty Kolle, Robbie Holmes and Austin Pratt all had chances for the Pats but they were unable to solve netminder Carter Serhyenko, who made his first appearance for the Raiders after signing a WHL standard player agreement earlier in the day.
The Saskatoon product, who will turn 17 on Sept. 24, was an invite to the Raiders training camp and turned in a solid performance in the Green and White game on Labour Day.
He has spent the last two seasons in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League with the Battlefords Stars, where he posted a record of 16-25-0, a 3.75 goals against average, an .899 save percentage and one shutout.
Ozzy Wiesblatt led the way on offence for the Raiders with a pair of goals, while Usau and Kaiden Guhle both had assists.
Boston Bilous started the game and made 12 saves over two periods before Serhyenko stopped 14 shots in the final 25 minutes of play.
Dawson Holt had a pair of assists for the 2-2-2 Pats, who got their goals from Kolle and Pratt.
Dean McNabb went the distance for the hosts and made 30 saves.
Both sides will conclude their pre-season schedules on Saturday with a 7 p.m. meeting at the Art Hauser Centre.
Fans at Saturday’s game will notice no scoreboard above centre ice, as the new video board will be installed next week ahead of Friday’s season opener against the Saskatoon Blades.
With five goals in four games, Wiesblatt is tied for second in pre-season goal scoring with Josh Davies (Swift Current Broncos), Zane Franklin (Kamloops Blazers) and Dylan Guenther (Edmonton Oil Kings).
Blazers rookie forward Logan Stankoven leads the league with seven goals in five games.
Wiesblatt, who is tied with Usau for the most points by a Raider in exhibition play with five, is one marker away from tying Jonas Knutsen’s showing in 2011, which is as far back as pre-season stats go on the Western Hockey League’s website.
Nolan Allan, Max Martin, Cohner Saleski, Cole Fonstad and the recently acquired Remy Aquilon all made their first exhibition appearances for the visitors, who did not dress Brett Balas, Zack Hayes, Brayden Pachal, Jakob Brook, Aliaksei Protas and Eric Pearce.
The Pats scratched Makai Mitchell, Duncan Pierce, Jake Johnson and Cale Sanders.
Friday’s Pre-Season Scores
- Swift Current 4 Lethbridge 3 (Ethan O’Rourke Overtime Winner – Alex Moar – Three Assists)
- Brandon 5 Moose Jaw 2 (Ridly Greig – Two Goals and Two Assists)
- Medicine Hat 5 Red Deer 3 (Ryan Chyzowski – Two Goals and One Assist)
- Saskatoon 4 Winnipeg 3 (Colton Dach – Two Goals)
- Kamloops 6 Kelowna 1 (Logan Stankoven – Two Goals and Two Assists)
Saturday’s Pre-Season Schedule
- Prince George vs. Edmonton – 2 p.m. (in Dawson Creek, B.C.)
- Moose Jaw vs. Brandon – 6:30 p.m.
- Calgary vs. Medicine Hat – 7 p.m. (in Taber, Alta.)
- Regina vs. Prince Albert – 7 p.m.
- Winnipeg vs. Saskatoon – 7 p.m.
- Lethbridge vs. Swift Current – 7 p.m.
- Kamloops vs. Kelowna – 8 p.m.
- Spokane vs. Tri-City – 8 p.m.
Sunday’s Pre-Season Schedule
- Red Deer vs. Calgary – 4 p.m.