A matchup between two of the top sides in the Western Hockey League turned out to be a bit of a one-sided affair Tuesday night.
Although the Edmonton Oil Kings scored twice in the final frame to make things closer on the scoreboard, the Prince Albert Raiders had already raced out to a 5-1 lead in 29 minutes and went on to pick up a 6-3 triumph at Rogers Place.
“It was a pretty dominant performance,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said. “We were good in all facets of the game and we were quick once again to start the night off, which is just like how things went in Moose Jaw Saturday.
“We always try to play fast and this year is no different. Our guys are used to playing with speed, which takes away a lot of time and space from our opponents and puts them on their heels a bit.”
The Oil Kings, who had won eight games in a row heading into Tuesday’s contest, had a tough time mustering any offence during the first two frames as they were held to just eight shots on goal.
“Obviously when we control the puck, it’s tough for them to get shots and then it’s even tougher when you can’t get the puck back,” Habscheid said. “We took a lot of their space away tonight, which we used to our advantage.”
With the victory, which was the fifth straight for the defending WHL champions, the Raiders improved their record to 12-2-3-0 and are again tied with the Oil Kings for first place in the entire league with 27 points.
Brayden Watts led the way for the visitors with a goal and three helpers, while Spencer Moe and Ozzy Wiesblatt each had two goals and an assist.
Ilya Usau also lit the lamp and Boston Bilous made 17 saves.
Jake Neighbours and Prince Albert product Riley Sawchuk both had two assist showings for the 12-2-3-0 Oil Kings, who got their goals from Liam Keeler, Matthew Robertson and Keegan Slaney.
Todd Scott got the start for the hosts but was pulled after allowing four goals on 15 shots in 25 minutes.
Rookie Sebastian Cossa made 13 saves in the final 35 minutes of the contest.
The Raiders will wrap up their three-game road swing Wednesday night as they’ll visit the Calgary Hitmen.
Raiders forward Aliaksei Protas had a pair of assists on Tuesday and now had a league-best 28 points in 17 games, which is three more than Dylan Cozens of the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
The Washington Capitals prospect has also recorded a point in six straight games and owns the best plus/minus rating in the WHL at +24.
Brayden Watts and Ozzy Wiesblatt are both on five-game point streaks, which marks the second time that the duo have done that this year.
Riley Sawchuk and Jake Neighbours also kept up their recent run of forms for the Oil Kings as they extend their scoring streaks to six games.
Edmonton blueliner Keagan Slaney, who was the 20th overall pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft, scored his first career goal in the third period.
Nolan Allan and Cole Nagy did not dress for the Raiders on Tuesday, while the Oil Kings scratched Dylan Guenther, Aidan Lawson and Conner McDonald.
- Brandon 5 Red Deer 2 (Ben McCartney – Two Goals)
- Edmonton 3 Calgary 2 (Todd Scott – 38 Saves)
- Kamloops 6 Portland 5 (Connor Zary – Two Goals)
- Red Deer 3 Regina 2 (Arshdeep Bains Overtime Winner – Byron Fancy – 25 Saves)
- Everett 4 Spokane 3 (Bryce Kindopp Overtime Winner – Two Goals)
- Vancouver 5 Medicine Hat 2 (Milos Roman – One Goal and One Assist)
Going into Wednesday’s contest at the Scotiabank Saddledome, the Raiders have won their last five meetings against the Hitmen and are coming off a 4-0 sweep of last year’s season series.
The 8-5-1-0 Hitmen, who have lost their last three games, are currently in fourth place in the East Division and have the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Former Prince Albert Mintos forward Cael Zimmerman has yet to play for the Hitmen this year due to an injury.
Rookie forward Sean Tschigerl will not be in the lineup Wednesday as he plays at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, while Riley Fiddler-Schultz is week-to-week with a lower body injury.
- Red Deer vs. Winnipeg – 7:30 p.m.
- Prince Albert vs. Calgary – 8 p.m.
- Swift Current vs. Lethbridge – 8 p.m.
- Medicine Hat vs. Prince George – 9 p.m.
- Victoria vs. Kelowna – 9 p.m.