A rough stretch for the Prince Albert Raiders continued on Thursday afternoon as the Regina Pats handed their East Division rivals a fourth straight loss during a 5-3 affair at the Brandt Centre.
The defeat came on a day where the Raiders put together one of the best starts to date in the Regina bubble as they fired 16 shots at Pats rookie netminder Matthew Kieper but found themselves trailing 1-0 after Carson Denomie converted a feed from Connor Bedard on the power play.
“I felt bad for the guys as they should have been rewarded for that start,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said. “We just didn’t have a lot of puck luck and they (the Pats) went down and scored a goal.
“For the most part though, I liked a lot about our game. We were on the puck and did a lot of good things out there. I thought we were the better team for 45 out of the 60 minutes, but Regina was opportunistic and scored on their chances.”
Cole Carrier and Denomie had a goal and an assist each for the 2-3-2-0 Pats, while Ryker Evans and Connor Bedard both dished out a pair of helpers.
Carter Massier, Layton Feist and Braxton Whitehead also scored in the triumph, which saw Kieper make 26 saves to help his team snap a two-game losing streak.
Tyson Laventure paced the Raiders on offence with a pair of assists on markers by Remy Aquilon and Eric Pearce.
Landon Kosior rounded out the scoring on a third period power play marker and Carter Serhyenko stopped 21 shots.
“It’s been a tough stretch for us lately and there’s something that we need to correct here,” Kosior said. “I think we can fix those little things in practice and come out with a win in our next game.”
The 2-3-1-1 Raiders will look to return to the win column on Saturday at 8 p.m. as they’ll face the Moose Jaw Warriors for the first time since a 2-1 shootout contest that the Warriors won on March 14.
“It’s a quick turn around here in the bubble and a lot of games in a short period of time, so you can’t really dwell on games for very long,” Raiders forward Reece Vitelli said.
“I know we have a good team here and a great group of guys in the dressing room. We’ll get out of this little hump that we’re in.”
Carter Seryhenko was the only option for the Raiders in goal on Thursday as Max Paddock was sidelined with a lower-body injury.
According to Raiders announcer Trevor Redden, the team had a emergency netminder available from the Winnipeg Ice if Seryhenko was injured in Thursday’s contest.
Bedard’s two-assist performance extended his point streak to seven straight games, which is three away from tying the best run of form to start a WHL career in the league’s Internet Era.
That mark is currently held by Michael Spacek, who went on a 10-game point streak to begin the 2015-16 season for the Red Deer Rebels.
Layton Feist and Braxton Whitehead both scored their first WHL goals in the Pats’ victory, which was marred by the ejection of captain Logan Nijhoff in the third period following a knee-on-knee hit on Raiders forward Spencer Moe.
Moe was shaken up on the play but returned to the ice a few minutes later.
In addtion to Paddock, the Raiders did not dress Kaiden Guhle, Logan Linklater and Terrell Goldsmith on Thursday, while the Pats scratched Tom Cadieux, Makai Mitchell, Colby Wotton, Jakob Brook, Marcus Taylor and Roddy Ross.
Around the WHL
The Seattle Thunderbirds announced on Thursday afternoon that two of their forwards had been kicked off of the team after they made racist comments and actions towards a teammate.
Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reported that the two players were released following an incident where it’s alleged they used a racial slur and waved a banana was in front of a 17-year-old member of the team.
“It’s obviously an unfortunate situation that we don’t condone,” Thunderbirds general manager Bil La Forge said to Baker. “We have a zero-tolerance policy for anything racially insensitive or bullying or anything of the sort.”
While the two players weren’t named publicly, they are no longer listed on the Thunderbirds roster and won’t rejoin the team next year.
- Winnipeg 8 Regina 3 (Connor McClennon – Two Goals and One Assist)
- Brandon 8 Moose Jaw 2 (Jake Chiasson – Two Goals and One Assist)
- Everett 3 Tri-City 0 (Dustin Wolf – 30 Saves – Third Straight Shutout and 23rd Career)
- Saskatoon 6 Swift Current 5 (Tristen Robins Overtime Winner – Kyle Crnkovic – Four Assists)
- Brandon 4 Winnipeg 3 (Jake Chiasson – One Goal and One Assist)
The 4-3-0-0 Warriors are currently on a two-game losing streak, with their most recent loss coming in an 8-2 affair with the Brandon Wheat Kings on Wednesday.
Draft eligible forward Ryder Korczak sits in a tie for third with Brett Kemp of the Medicine Hat Tigers and Alex Cotton of the Lethbridge Hurricanes for the most assists in the league with eight.
Minnesota Wild prospect Daemon Hunt has six points so far this year, which puts him in a tie for fifth place in WHL defensive scoring with Braden Schneider of the Brandon Wheat Kings, Eric Van Impe of the Medicine Hat Tigers and Matthew Robertson of the Edmonton Oil Kings.
Rookie forward Brayden Yager, who was the third overall pick in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft, is tied with Conor Geekie of the Winnipeg Ice and Mathew Ward of the Swift Current Broncos for fifth place in scoring among first-year players with five points.
- Saskatoon vs. Regina – 4 p.m.
- Everett vs. Portland – 6 p.m.
- Seattle vs. Spokane – 6 p.m.
- Calgary vs. Edmonton – 7 p.m.
- Lethbridge vs. Medicine Hat – 7 p.m.
- Winnipeg vs. Swift Current – 8 p.m.
- Vancouver vs. Kamloops – 8 p.m.
- Victoria vs. Kelowna – 8 p.m.
- Edmonton vs. Calgary – 2 p.m.
- Portland vs. Seattle – 6 p.m.
- Medicine Hat vs. Lethbridge – 7 p.m.
- Spokane vs. Tri-City – 7 p.m.
- Prince Albert vs. Moose Jaw – 8 p.m.
- Kamloops vs. Prince George – 8 p.m.