The Prince Albert Raiders got things started on the right foot on Monday night at the Brandt Centre as Evan Herman scored on a breakaway just 80 seconds into their matchup with the Moose Jaw Warriors.
However, it would be the Warriors that controlled most of the proceedings as they scored three times in the middle stanza to pick up a 5-2 win and hand their provincial rivals a second straight setback.
“I thought our first and third period were good but the second period was tilted a bit in their favour,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said. “It didn’t help that we down on a five-on-three there and I thought that call to put us in that situation (a cross checking penalty to Terrell Goldsmith) was kind of a soft call.
“All in all though, I thought we were pretty good for two out of the three periods and exhibition game number 20 is in the books.”
Habscheid noted that an emotional letdown was to be expected from his side as they were coming off of a hard-fought 4-3 matchup with the Regina Pats a night earlier.
“There was a lot of intensity in that game and to follow that up again would be hard, especially for our young guys as they aren’t used to going back-to-back with that kind of intensity,” he added.
“Like I said though, I really like the way we started as the intensity was there, but it waned a bit there in the second period.”
Reece Vitelli had the other goal for the 7-10-2-1 Raiders, who received a 26-save showing from Carter Serhyneko.
Josh Hoekstra had a goal and an assist each, while Daemon Hunt dished out a pair of helpers for the 8-11-1-0 Warriors, who snapped a four-game losing streak on Monday.
“Our best players played really well and the guys that don’t always play a whole bunch did their part as well,” Warriors head coach Mark O’Leary said in a post-game press conference. “We had everybody involved, everybody was in the fight and those are the best kind of games.”
Eric Alarie, Brayden Yager, Tate Popple and Riley Krane also scored in the triumph, which saw Brett Mirwald make 29 saves.
The Raiders will have a couple of days before a Thursday encounter with the Saskatoon Blades that is slated to begin at 4 p.m.
Monday’s win for the Warriors meant that they split the season series with the Raiders for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign, when each side won four games.
Denton Mateychuk, Bryden Kiesman, Logan Doust, Nolan Jones and Riley Niven did not dress for the Warriors on Monday, while the Raiders were without the services of Nolan Allan, Kaiden Guhle, Landon Kosior, Logan Danis and Max Paddock.
- Winnipeg 5 Swift Current 2 (Michael Milne – One Goal and Two Assists)
- Medicine Hat 3 Red Deer 2 (Beckett Langkow – 27 Saves)
- Vancouver 2 Prince George 1 (Trent Miner – 33 Saves)
- Kelowna 7 Victoria 2 (Dylan Wightman – Two Goals and One Assist)
Sillinger to miss Under-18’s
Canada’s Under-18 team will be without one of their key forwards when the tournament gets underway in Texas next week as Cole Sillinger has been ruled out of the event.
Hockey Canada said on Monday that Sillinger will be unable to participate in the competition but did not give any further explanation,
TSN’s Bob McKenzie revealed later in the day that it was due to COVID-19 protocol.
Sillinger, who is expected to be a first round pick at the 2021 NHL Draft, has 46 points in 31 games this season for the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede.
He will return to the Medicine Hat Tigers next year, where he had 53 points in 48 contests in 2019-20.
Prior to their meeting with the Raiders, the 14-2-2-1 Blades will be looking to return to the win column on Tuesday against the Regina Pats, as they are coming off of a 3-2 shootout setback against the Swift Current Broncos on Saturday.
If the Blades can beat the Raiders on Thursday, they will earn their first sweep of the season series with their rivals in the WHL’s Internet era.
They came close to accomplishing that feat in the 2005-06 campaign when they won their first eight meetings, but the Raiders prevented the Blades from winning the ninth and final encounter with a 3-2 shootout triumph at the Art Hauser Centre on March 18.
Prince Albert has swept the season series over Saskatoon in the Internet era as they won all seven encounters in 1996-97.
Despite their successful run in Regina, the Blades have been dealing with some key injuries as of late as Tristen Robins, Aiden De La Gorgendiere and Colton Dach have been sidelined with undisclosed aliments.
- Saskatoon vs. Regina – 6 p.m.
- Kelowna vs. Kamloops – 8 p.m.
- Brandon vs. Swift Current – 4 p.m.
- Moose Jaw vs. Winnipeg – 8 p.m.
- Vancouver vs. Victoria – 8 p.m.
- Saskatoon vs. Prince Albert – 4 p.m.
- Everett vs. Spokane – 7 p.m.
- Swift Current vs. Regina – 8 p.m.
- Kamloops vs. Prince George – 8 p.m.