Wheat Kings down Raiders in Brandon

The Prince Albert Raiders stayed close for one period, but couldn’t keep up with the Brandon Wheat Kings on Friday.

The Raiders got goals from Terrell Goldsmith and Reece Vitelli, but surrendered five to the Brandon Wheat Kings on route to a 5-2 loss at Westoba Place.

“I thought they played hard, and played together,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said when asked about his team’s play. “Right now, Brandon’s just a better team than we are.

“They’re trying. They work hard. They play together. They’re given us the best they can. That’s all we ask.”

Reece Vitelli also scored for the Raiders, who fall to 0-3 on the season. Carter Serhyenko made 23 saves in a losing cause.

Both teams entered Friday’s contest having opened the season with two straight losses. The Raiders dropped a pair of home-and-home games to the Regina Pats, while the Wheat Kings were hammered 10-2 and 7-1 by the Winnipeg Ice.

The home side jumped out to a 1-0 when Ben Thornton scored his first of two on the night at 12:23 of the first period, but the Raiders tied it up just 17 seconds later.

Terrell Goldsmith scored his first of the season on a wrist shot from the blue line that eluded screened Wheat Kings goalie Ethan Kruger to make it 1-1.

The Wheat Kings too the lead again on Ridly Greig’s goal and 17:14, then padded their lead with Riley Ginnel’s eventual game winner halfway through the second period, and Greig’s second of the night on the power play with less than a minute to play.

Reece Vitelli got the Raiders back on the board with his second goal in as many games. The Raiders forward grabbed a loose puck in the slot and fired a wrist shot over Kruger’s glove to make it 4-2.

That was as close as the Raiders got, however. Ben Thornton put the game away for good with his second of the night at 9:50 of the third period.

Friday’s game was the first of a two-game road swing through Manitoba. The Raiders take on the Winnipeg Ice on Saturday at Wayne Fleming Arena.

Habscheid said he expects his team to keep working hard against the undefeated Ice. If they do, good things will happen.

“Just keeping working at it,” he said. “That’s all you can do.”

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