For the fifth straight contest, the Prince Albert Raiders went past regulation against an opponent.
This time around, it took a shootout to decide the winner as the Red Deer Rebels came away with a 4-3 triumph at the Westerner Park Centrium.
“I thought our first period wasn’t bad but we looked like we were in gravel in the second period and it kind of continued from there,” Raiders assistant coach Jeff Truitt said on the 900 CKBI post-game show.
“We just didn’t have enough spark to complete things and we didn’t generate enough chances in the second and third periods.”
After falling behind 3-1 early in the final frame, Keaton Sorenson and Zak Smith tied things up for the hosts with nearly 14 minutes to go in regulation.
The Rebels would complete the comeback in the shootout as Josh Tarzwell and Ben King both found the back of the net, while Ozzy Wiesblatt and Ilya Usau were unable to solve Ethan Anders.
“I thought we played with a lot of emotion tonight,” Smith said. “Everyone’s been stepping up and filling roles here over the last couple of games.
“Even we went down by a couple of goals, we kept rolling and we got a win out of it.”
Smith had both goals for the 15-23-2-3 Rebels, who snapped a four-game losing streak on Saturday.
Anders made 31 stops for the hosts, including two big saves in overtime on Matthew Culling and Kaiden Guhle to keep things tied up.
Carter Serhyenko was also impressive in goal for the Raiders, as he turned aside 24 shots in his first start since a Dec. 27 contest with the Saskatoon Blades.
The rookie netminder made his best stop of the night in overtime as he stymied Chris Douglas with 47 seconds to go.
“There was a little bit of rust in the first period but that’s to be expected when you haven’t played in a bit,” Truitt said. “I thought he got better and better as the game went on tonight and he made some confident decisions.”
Landon Kosior had a goal and an assist each for the 23-14-5-3 Raiders, who also got offensive contributions from Usau and Eric Pearce.
The Raiders, who are a point behind the Winnipeg Ice for first place in the East Division, will start a four-game homestand at the Art Hauser Centre on Friday night as they’ll face the Edmonton Oil Kings for the third time in two weeks.
“We know that these games over the next month and a half are going to be tough,” Truitt said. “Winnipeg’s playing well, Brandon’s creeping up on us and Saskatoon has their offence going.
“We got to get our big boys to step up and contribute in games like this and not play down to the other team’s level.”
After the Medicine Hat Tigers come to town on Saturday, the Raiders will host the Victoria Royals on Wednesday, Jan. 28 and the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Friday, Jan. 31.
— With files from Byron Hackett of the Red Deer Advocate
Prior to Saturday, the Raiders had never played five straight games past regulation since the 1996 WHL playoffs, which is as far back as scores go on the league website.
The previous record in that span was four games, which occurred from Feb. 9-13, 2005 and Jan. 5-12, 1997.
The Raiders went 1-0-3 during the 1997 streak and 1-2-1 in the 2005 run, which both included ties as the shootout wasn’t introduced to the WHL until the 2005-06 campaign.
The Rebels took three out of four meetings from the Raiders this year to win the season series for the first time since 2016-17.
Prince Albert had prevailed in three out of four games against Red Deer during the last two campaigns.
Aliaksei Protas served his first penalty of the season at the 14:08 mark of the third period as he was called for tripping.
Ozzy Wiesblatt had an assist on Ilya Usau’s goal to extend his point streak to six games, which matches his career high that he set earlier this season.
Trey Patterson, who was a second round pick by the Rebels in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft, made his WHL debut on Saturday night.
The 16-year-old defender has seven points in 23 games this season for the Calgary Buffaloes of the Alberta Midget Hockey League.
Evan Herman did not dress for the Raiders, while the Rebels scratched Kyle Masters and Chase Leslie.
- Everett 8 Seattle 0 (Jackson Berezowski – One Goal and Three Assists – Dustin Wolf – 14 Saves – Sixth Shutout This Season and 17th Career)
- Kamloops 9 Tri-City 0 (Connor Zary – Two Goals and One Assist – Rayce Ramsay – 24 Saves – Third Shutout This Season)
- Medicine Hat 6 Lethbridge 2 (James Hamblin – Four Goals – Second Hat Trick This Season)
- Brandon 6 Moose Jaw 0 (Lynden McCallum – Two Goals and One Assist – Ethan Kruger – 35 Saves – Third Shutout This Season)
- Portland 7 Kelowna 0 (Seth Jarvis – Two Goals and One Assist – Dante Giannuzzi – 17 Saves – First Career Shutout)
- Saskatoon 7 Swift Current 2 (Aidan De La Gorgendiere – Two Goals and One Assist)
- Spokane 6 Regina 2 (Reed Jacobson – Two Goals)
- Vancouver 6 Victoria 2 (Jackson Shepard – One Goal and Two Assists)
- Winnipeg 5 Calgary 2 (Peyton Krebs – Two Goals)
- Medicine Hat vs. Edmonton – 5 p.m.
- Kamloops vs. Vancouver – 6 p.m.
- Kelowna vs. Portland – 7 p.m.
- Everett vs. Seattle – 7 p.m.
- Calgary vs. Winnipeg – 7:30 p.m.