Turnovers and penalties put the Prince Albert Raiders in a hole Wednesday at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Ore.
Although they were able to claw their way back in the final frame, the Raiders suffered their third consecutive loss on their US Division road trip as they dropped a 4-3 decision to the Portland Winterhawks.
“I thought it was two different games for sure,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said.
“We got into penalty trouble early and there were a couple of goals that Boston (Bilous) will want back, but I thought we were a lot better in the second half. With that said, our best players need to be our best players.”
Habscheid made a couple of moves to get the Raiders going after they fell behind 3-1 midway through the game.
He did some shuffling of the offensive lines and also made a swap in goal as Bilous was pulled in favour of Carter Serhyenko.
“Boston played fine tonight but we needed to change things up,” Habscheid said.
“We went with three lines about five minutes into the second period and there were three guys that didn’t play for a bit. We were better after that and we continued to play well once those three guys went back out there.”
Bilous made 15 saves in 29 minutes and 33 seconds of work, while Serhyenko stopped all eight shots he faced in his second career WHL appearance.
The 7-2-3-0 Raiders got their offence from Jakob Brook, Jeremy Masella and Tyson Laventure, with Laventure’s late third period marker being the first of his Western Hockey League career.
“That was great to see,” Raiders assistant coach Jeff Truitt said on the 900 CKBI post-game show. “Tyson’s done a great job for us this year and he was contributing all night long by working hard.”
New York Islanders draft pick Reece Newkirk led the way for the hosts as he had a pair of goals and two helpers for his second four-point night of the season.
Seth Jarvis and Jake Gricius had a goal and an assist each for the 7-3-0-1 Winterhawks, who have won their last two games.
Joel Hofer turned aside 25 shots for his seventh victory of the campaign, which moved him into a tie with Dylan Garand of the Kamloops Blazers for the league lead.
The Raiders will look to get back in the win column in Kennewick, Wash. at 8 p.m. Friday as they’ll go up against the Tri-City Americans.
They’ll conclude their five-game road trip through the United States on Saturday evening against the Spokane Chiefs.
The Raiders have now lost six straight road contests to US Division opponents, with their last win south of the border coming in a 6-4 affair with the Seattle Thunderbirds on Nov. 14, 2017.
Reece Vitelli recorded his first point as a Raider in the second period as he stole the puck from Johnny Ludvig and fed it to Jakob Brook.
Reece Newkirk’s previous four-point outing this season came on Oct. 9, as he had a goal and three assists in an 8-2 road win over the Swift Current Broncos.
Brayden Clark and Cole Nagy did not dress for the Raiders, while the Winterhawks scratched Nick Perna, Kurtis Smythe and former Prince Albert Minto Kishaun Gervais.
- Kelowna 4 Prince George 2 (Nolan Foote – One Goal and Two Assists)
- Spokane 7 Brandon 1 (Adam Beckman – One Goal and Four Assists)
Prince Albert Raiders first round draft pick Niall Crocker found the back of the net for British Columbia on Wednesday afternoon as they picked up a 6-4 round-robin win over Saskatchewan in the opening day of the WHL Cup in Calgary.
Victoria Royals prospect Brayden Schuurman led the way for British Columbia with two goals and an assist, while fellow Royals draft pick Carter Dereniwsky dished out two helpers in a losing effort.
Prince Albert Mintos blueliner and Raiders prospect Tre Fouquette was held off of the scoresheet for Saskatchewan.
Raiders draft pick Bryce Warkentine lit the lamp for Manitoba in the late game, but it wasn’t enough as they lost a 7-3 contest to Alberta.
Calgary Hitmen draft pick Billal Noori had a pair of goals for Alberta, who feature Raiders draft pick Graydon Gottas on their blueline.
Moose Jaw Warriors defensive prospect Denton Mateychuk scored twice for Manitoba.
Round-robin play runs through Friday, with the semifinals taking place Saturday and the medal round contests slated for Sunday.
Following a 10-2 home loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings on Tuesday, the Americans find themselves in third place in the US Division with a 6-5 record.
Former Raiders forward Nikita Krivkorasov has four points in eight games for the Americans in his return to the Western Hockey League.
The 18-year-old, who had three goals in 34 games for the Raiders during the 2017-18 campaign, split time with the USHL’s Omaha Lancers and the NAHL’s Corpus Christi IceRays last season.
Forward Blake Stevenson and netminder Talyn Boyko are both out of the Americans lineup at the moment with injuries.
- Medicine Hat vs. Edmonton – 7 p.m.
- Brandon vs. Lethbridge – 7 p.m.
- Calgary vs. Moose Jaw – 7 p.m.
- Seattle vs. Red Deer – 7 p.m.
- Winnipeg vs. Saskatoon – 7 p.m.
- Portland vs. Spokane – 8 p.m.
- Prince Albert vs. Tri-City – 8 p.m.
- Kamloops vs. Victoria – 8 p.m.
- Everett vs. Vancouver – 8:30 p.m.