A matchup between the top team in the Western Hockey League’s East Division and the club at the bottom of the league standings did not turn out as many would have expected on Saturday at the Brandt Centre.
Ty Kolle had the only goal in the shootout and Max Paddock stopped all three Prince Albert Raiders shooters that he faced as the Regina Pats came away with a 4-3 triumph.
The loss was the second straight for the Raiders, who saw their record fall to 13-4-3-1.
“All in all, we were lucky to get a point here tonight,” Raiders assistant coach Jeff Truitt said on the 900 CKBI post-game show. “We need to clean things up a little bit and it comes down to our puck management.
“We were fighting it early on tonight. We were turning pucks over and we didn’t defend our net very well.”
After Kolle put a shot through the five-hole of Boston Bilous in the opening round of the skills competition, Paddock came up big for the hosts as he turned aside Ilya Usau, Brayden Watts and Aliaksei Protas.
The Pats, who improved to 3-12-2-0 on the season and snapped a four-game losing streak, thought they had broken a 3-3 tie just past the halfway point of the third on a power play goal by Kolle.
However, that marker was waved off after a review by the officials due to an apparent hand pass by Austin Pratt.
Kolle, Logan Nijhoff and the debuting Carter Chorney all scored in regulation for the Pats, who received a 33-save showing from Paddock.
Evan Herman recorded the first multi-point night of his WHL career as the rookie forward dished out a pair of helpers to lead the Raiders on offence.
Kaiden Guhle, Reece Vitelli and Protas also scored in the loss, which saw Bilous turn aside 24 shots.
The Raiders will look to return to the win column Sunday at the Art Hauser Centre when the Calgary Hitmen come to town for a 6 p.m. matchup.
“One of the big things that we need to do is limit our turnovers,” Truitt said. “When you do that, you take away chances and you allow the other team to have opportunities, which you don’t want to do against a team like Calgary.”
Following that contest, the Raiders will start a three-game road swing through Alberta on Wednesday against the Red Deer Rebels.
The Raiders lost the services of forward Eric Pearce during the second period of play after he was on the receiving end of a neutral zone hit by Pats forward Riley Krane.
Truitt said that he spoke with Pearce during the second intermission, but his status for Sunday’s home game with the Hitmen had yet to be determined.
Saturday’s triumph for the Pats was the first in four meetings this year with the Raiders and also brought an end to a five-game skid to the East Division side that dated back to Dec. 30, 2018.
It also marked the first time that the Raiders had lost a game at the Brandt Centre since March 14, 2018 as they had won their last four trips there.
Spencer Moe was held without a point in the loss, which brought an end to his career-high seven game point streak.
Michael Horon, who was acquired from the Seattle Thunderbirds last Saturday, did not record a point in his Raiders debut.
Chorney, who almost scored the game-winning goal during a scramble in the final seconds of regulation, was making his first appearance in a Pats uniform after he was dealt by the Swift Current Broncos earlier this week.
Braydon Clark, Daniil Stepanov and Tyson Laventure did not dress for the Raiders, while the Pats scratched Danton Belluk, Makai Mitchell, Sloan Stanick and Cale Sanders.
- Winnipeg 5 Everett 4 (Chase Hartje Overtime Winner – Isaac Johnson – Three Assists)
- Kelowna 4 Kamloops 3 (Jake Poole – One Goal and One Assist)
- Medicine Hat 5 Edmonton 1 (James Hamblin – Two Goals and One Assist)
- Red Deer 4 Brandon 3 (Byron Fancy – 37 Saves)
- Calgary 4 Saskatoon 1 (Mark Kastelic – Two Goals)
- Seattle 5 Portland 4 (Simon Kubicek Shootout Winner – Payton Mount – One Goal and Two Assists)
- Swift Current 7 Moose Jaw 3 (Jaxan Kaluski – Two Goals and Two Assists)
- Spokane 4 Tri-City 3 (Adam Beckman – Two Goals and One Assist)
- Vancouver 4 Prince George 0 (Tristen Nielsen – One Goal and Two Assists – David Tendeck – 38 Saves – Third Shutout This Season and Fourth Career)
- Kamloops 1 Prince George 0 (Rayce Ramsay – 23 Saves – Second Career Shutout)
- Spokane 4 Portland 3 (Jack Finley Overtime Winner – Eli Zummack – One Goal and Two Assists)
- Medicine Hat 4 Red Deer 3 (Jonathan Brinkman Shootout Winner – Eric Van Impe – Two Assists)
- Victoria 3 Lethbridge 2 (Gary Haden – One Goal and One Assist)
- Brandon 7 Winnipeg 2 (Braden Schneider – One Goal and Two Assists)
- Tri-City 3 Edmonton 0 (Beck Warm – 48 Saves – Second Shutout This Season and Fourth Career)
- Kamloops 5 Kelowna 2 (Zane Franklin – Three Assists)
Around the WHL
The Winnipeg Ice will receive a huge addition to their lineup on Sunday as forward Peyton Krebs will make his season debut against the Portland Winterhawks.
Krebs, who was the 17th overall pick in last June’s NHL Draft by the Vegas Golden Knights and inked an entry-level deal with the club Saturday, has been recovering from a partially torn Achilles tendon injury that he suffered during the off-season.
The 18-year-old from Okotoks, Alta. led the Ice in scoring last year with 68 points in 64 games during the club’s final season in Cranbrook, B.C.
Prince Albert’s Gabe Klassen recorded his first career WHL goal and an assist Saturday in a 5-4 shootout loss for the Portland Winterhawks against the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Klassen, who leads the Prince Albert Mintos in scoring with 18 points in 12 games this year, has suited up three times for the Winterhawks this month.
Sunday’s contest is the second of the season between Calgary and Prince Albert, as the Hitmen came away with a 4-2 win on Nov 6. at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The Raiders have won four straight games over the Hitmen at the Art Hauser Centre, with their last setback coming in a 5-4 overtime affair on Jan. 11, 2017.
Following a 4-1 road win over the Saskatoon Blades Saturday, the Hitmen are fourth in the Central Division standings with a 10-6-1-1 record and currently own the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Hitmen forwards Riley Fiddler-Schultz and Cael Zimmerman are both currently sidelined with injuries.
- Moose Jaw vs. Saskatoon – 2:30 p.m. (Will air nationally on Sportsnet)
- Brandon vs. Edmonton – 5 p.m.
- Calgary vs. Prince Albert – 6 p.m.
- Lethbridge vs. Vancouver – 6 p.m.
- Spokane vs. Everett – 6 p.m.
- Winnipeg vs. Portland – 7 p.m.