The Prince Albert Raiders scored three second period goals and held off a late third period rally to beat the Moose Jaw Warriors 3-2 at Mosaic Place on Wednesday.
Ozzy Wiesblatt, Reece Vitelli and Niall Crocker scored for the Raiders, and Carter Serhyenko made 20 saves to give Prince Albert their first win of the season. Damon Hunt and Denton Mateychuk had goals for the Warriors, while Carl Tetachuk made 23 saves in a losing cause.
We’re not just about one win. We’re about championships, so we’re not getting too excited about this,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said afterwards. “It’s nice to get the win, for sure. We needed it, but we’ve got another game Friday.”
Habscheid gave credit to captain Kaiden Guhle for helping stabilize a team that had lost its first four games of the season. Wednesday marked Guhle’s first game back in action after returning from training camp with the Montreal Canadians.
“It just made a world of difference,” Habscheid said. “It just settled the room. You had the shepherd of your flock back, and it made a big difference.
“When you get a guy like that back, then it slots guys into their positions, whether they’re top two, top four or top six. You get proper matchups, and it just makes it easier for everybody.”
After a scoreless first period, Wiesblatt gave the Raiders the lead roughly four minutes into the second by deflecting a Guhle point-shot past Tetachuk. The Raiders padded their lead roughly three minutes later when Vitelli fired a rebound between the Warrior netminder’s pads to make it 2-0.
Prince Albert made it 3-0 on Crocker’s first goal of his WHL career. The Delta, B.C. product deflected another Guhle point-shot with 6:09 to play in the period for the eventual game winner.
The Raiders appeared to be cruising until newly acquired Sloan Stanick received a five-minute major and game misconduct for goaltender interference late the third period. The Warriors took advantage when Hunt scored just three seconds into the five minute powerplay.
Moose Jaw added another after pulling their goalie to create a 6-on-4 situation. Mateychuk hammered a one-timer past Serhyenko after the Raiders penalty killers blocked a flurry of shots to make it a one goal game.
“They got a seeing-eye goal to make it 3-1, and then they got momentum and made it 3-2, but I thought we carried game,” Habscheid said.
The win gives Prince Albert a 1-4-0-0 record heading into Friday’s rematch at the Art Hauser Centre. The Warriors drop to 2-2-0-0 on the season.
Puck drop on Friday is 7 p.m.
Around the WHL
Brandon 5 Saskatoon 4 (OT)
Chad Nychuk’s goal at 2:22 of overtime gave the Brandon Wheat Kings a 5-4 victory over the Saskatoon Blades at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon.
Nychuk took a feed from Nolan Ritchie a fired a wrist shot into the top left-hand corner to give Brandon their second straight win.
The Wheat Kings looked to have everything wrapped up late in the third, but Brandon Lisowsky’s goal with just 49 seconds left in the period sent the game into overtime.
The loss drops Saskatoon to 2-1-1-0 on the season, while Brandon improves to 3-3-0-0.
Kamloops 8 Victoria 3
Caedan Bankier had a hat-trick and former Prince Albert Minto Josh Pillar had a goal and two assists as the Kamloops Blazers routed the Victoria Royals 8-3 at Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena.
Daylan Kuefler also chipped in with two goals for the Blazers, who put up one in the first period, three in the second, and four more in the third.
Bailey Peach, Brayden Schuurman and Riley Gannon had the goals for the Royals, who fall to 1-3-0-0 on the season. The Blazers remain undefeated at 4-0-0-0.