Backs to the wall: Saskatoon captures Game 4 victory

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Sloan Stanick of the Prince Albert Raiders skates after a puck while being pursued by Saskatoon Blade defenceman John Babcock during WHL playoff action at the Art Hauser Centre on Wednesday night.

The Prince Albert Raiders have their backs to the wall after a 4-1 Game 4 defeat against the Saskatoon Blades at the Art Hauser Centre on Wednesday night to take a 3-1 series lead.

Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says Prince Albert didn’t generate many scoring opportunities.

“We didn’t get a lot of quality looks, we had some chances and I think that if we would have capitalized on a few of our chances, it could have been a different story. We got to generate more dangerous opportunities and (get) traffic to the net. It’s tough sledding out there and you’ve got to get pucks and traffic to the net, fight for second opportunities, grind it out.”

Saskatoon held a 36-16 shots on goal advantage on the evening. Truitt says the Raiders will need to do more in the offensive zone to win in game

“I think that they just had the puck in our zone at will. (They) did what they wanted to do and hemmed us in there for quite a while. They’re strong on pucks. And from our standpoint, there’s got to be a little bit more motion in that offensive zone, just not standing still.”

Saskatoon would open the scoring in the dying seconds of the opening frame as Easton Armstrong would jam home a rebound for his fifth goal of the series at the 19:58 mark. Alexander Suzdalev and Charlie Wright assisted on the play.

An unassisted goal from Misha Volotovskii would double the Saskatoon lead just 3:00 into the second period.

After a great scoring chance at the Saskatoon net, the Blades would take the puck the other way and Tanner Molendyk would strike for his first goal of the series. Volotovskii and William James provided the helpers.

A power play goal from Ryder Ritchie would get the Raiders on the board at the 4:02 mark of the third period. Aiden Oiring and Justice Christensen provided the helpers on the play.

Egor Sidorov would ice the game with an empty net tally for the Blades.

In order to force a Game 6 in Prince Albert on Saturday, the Raiders must win in Saskatoon in Game 5 on Friday night.

Truitt says the Raiders aren’t looking far ahead.

“One day at a time, one period at a time and now it’s got to be at our best but we’ve won in that building before and see where it goes.”

Game 5 is on Friday night in Saskatoon. Puck drops at 7 p.m.