It was a night of firsts for the Prince Albert Raiders.
Captain Kaiden Guhle scored his first two goals of the season and Tikhon Chaika stopped 23 shots for his first WHL win as the Raiders snapped a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings.
“We did the same thing we’ve been doing for the last five games,” head coach Marc Habscheid said after the game. “We outshot a team badly, outplayed them pretty bad for the most part, and got the win.
“We got a couple of saves, and we got two goals, and that was enough.”
Nolan Ritchie had the lone goal for the Wheat Kings, who were badly outshot in the first period, while Ethan Kruger made 35 saves in a losing cause.
After killing off an early penalty, the Raiders capitalized on a powerplay of their own to take a 1-0 lead. Nolan Allan sent a cross-ice pass to Guhle right off the face-off, and the Raiders captain fired a wrist shot over Kruger’s should for his first of the year.
The Raiders had a chance to make it 2-0 in the second when Evan Herman jammed the puck past Kruger, but the officials waved the goal off saying the whistle had already blown before the puck went in.
Kruger and Chaika kept the game scoreless for the rest of the period, with Chaika making a number of important stops after a quiet first period.
“He made some stops, but we don’t need any of our goalies to stand on their head,” Habscheid said. “We just need them to stop the ones they should, and he did that tonight.”
The Wheat Kings tied things up nearly eight minutes into the third when Ritchie wired a wrist-shot past Chaika for his ninth of the season.
However, Guhle restored the lead with his second of the game when he tipped a Sloan Stanick pass into the top corner less than two minutes later.
“Obviously, he’s a pretty good player,” Habscheid said when asked about Guhle’s performance. “He might be—for his age—the best player in the world. He’s just a special player.”
The Wheat Kings pulled their goalie late, but Chaika was perfect the rest of the way to secure the victory.
The win gives Prince Albert a 7-12-0-1 record heading into Sunday’s game against the league-leading Winnipeg Ice. Puck drop is 5 p.m.
The Raiders next home game is on Friday, Dec. 3 when they take on the Regina Pats. Game time is 7 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre.