Raiders sweep weekend series with Broncos

Saturday’s meeting between the Prince Albert Raiders and the Swift Current Broncos was a mirror image of Friday’s encounter at the Art Hauser Centre, as the Raiders once again came away with a 4-1 triumph at the Innovation Credit Union iPlex.

“We were better tonight as we had our skating legs once again and we were faster out there than we were a night ago,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said.

“We will have a week off again though, but that’s okay for us as we have to do a bit of line juggling. (Aliaksei) Protas and (Ilya) Usau are both going to be gone and (Brayden) Watts’ status is questionable at the moment. As a result, we’re going to be putting some guys into some different positions here.”

The only downside of the night came midway through the second period as Watts went down awkwardly after he stretched out to make a pass to Protas on a rush into the offensive zone.

The overage forward was unable to put any weight on his right leg as he was helped off the ice by his teammates and did not return.

“We weren’t sure at the start but we think we might have dodged a bullet,” Habscheid said. “We won’t know for sure though until we get back to Prince Albert and have him reevaluated.”

Ozzy Wiesblatt had a pair of goals to lead the way on offence for the 18-5-3-1 Raiders, while Protas and Usau each had two assists in their last games before leaving for Belarus’ world junior training camp.

Watts and Daniil Stepanov also scored for the visitors, who received an 18-save performance from Carter Serhyenko.

“Our depth was there again tonight, which it has been all year,” Habscheid said. “We have a close group here and that’s one of our strengths once again.”

Sergei Alkhimov had the lone goal for the 6-15-1-2 Broncos, who are on a two-game losing streak ahead of a road game against the Brandon Wheat Kings on Tuesday.

Isaac Poulter turned in another impressive showing as he turned aside 40 shots to help keep the hosts in the game.

The Raiders will look to continue their winning ways next Friday night as they’ll welcome the 2020 Memorial Cup host Kelowna Rockets to town for a 7 p.m. matchup.

Post-Game Notes

Aliaksei Protas will head overseas with a nine-game point streak in his back pocket, which is the longest run of form by any players in the WHL at the moment.

It also matches the longest streak of his career, which lasted from Oct. 3-28, 2018.

The Washington Capitals prospect has 42 points in 27 games and is one marker ahead of Medicine Hat Tigers overage forward James Hamblin for the league lead.

Spencer Moe also extended his point streak to six games on Saturday as he had an assist on Ozzy Wiesblatt’s second goal of the night.

Saturday also marked the first of four Teddy Bear Toss games that the Raiders will be taking part in over the next couple of weeks.

They’ll be the opposition for the Moose Jaw Warriors next Saturday night, hosting their own bear tossing night against the Kamloops Blazers on Saturday, Dec. 14 and will be the guests for the Saskatoon Blades’ game on Sunday, Dec. 15

Michael Horon and Tyson Laventure did not dress for the Raiders, while the Broncos scratched Billy Sowa, Jake Kustra, Chase Lacombe, Jordan Borysiuk, Tyler Smithies and Garrett Sambrook.

Saturday’s Scores

  • Edmonton 5 Calgary 4 (Josh Williams – One Goal and Two Assists)
  • Seattle 2 Everett 1 (Roddy Ross – 32 Saves)
  • Kamloops 4 Portland 1 (Zane Franklin – Two Assists)
  • Kelowna 3 Prince George 2 (Nolan Foote – Two Goals)
  • Medicine Hat 5 Saskatoon 3 (James Hamblin – Three Assists)
  • Regina 4 Red Deer 3 (Max Paddock – 45 Saves)
  • Spokane 4 Victoria 3 (Filip Kral Overtime Winner – Bear Hughes – One Goal and One Assist)
  • Tri-City 5 Vancouver 1 (Edge Lambert – Two Goals and One Assist – Talyn Boyko – 43 Saves)
  • Winnipeg 6 Brandon 5 (Connor McClennon – Three Goals – First Career Hat Trick)

Sunday’s Schedule

  • Red Deer vs. Calgary – 5 p.m.
  • Regina vs. Edmonton – 5 p.m.

Tuesday’s Schedule

  • Swift Current vs. Brandon – 7 p.m.
  • Moose Jaw vs. Edmonton – 8 p.m.
  • Lethbridge vs. Medicine Hat – 8 p.m.
  • Portland vs. Prince George – 9 p.m.
  • Seattle vs. Spokane – 9 p.m.