Blades edge Raiders, Calgary loss secures Prince Albert playoff berth

Photo by Mark Peterson Media/Prince Albert Raiders. Pictured from left to right, Turner McMillen, Sloan Stanick and Jacob Hoffrogge all played their final regular season home game for the Raiders on Friday night.

The result on the ice at the Art Hauser Centre didn’t go the way of the Prince Albert Raiders, but the team clinched a playoff berth after the Calgary Hitmen lost 7-6 to the Swift Current Broncos.

Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says the Blades took over play after the Raiders struck first.

“They’re an extremely talented group and we got that first goal and then they took charge. They controlled the play and they had the puck. We made some structural mistakes that obviously we’ve got to improve on. We know who we’re playing, we have another game tomorrow. It’s going be a test of attrition here when it comes to the battle, the constant battle night in and night out against a very good team.”

The Raiders would open the scoring just 1:35 into the first period as Aiden Oiring would deposit his 21st goal of the season from the mouth of the Blade crease. Sloan Stanick picked up the lone assist.

Saskatoon would respond at the 7:25 mark as Rhett Melnyk would strike for his fifth goal of the season. John Babcock and Vaughn Watterodt would pick up the assists.

Tanner Molendyk would give Saskatoon their first lead of the night at the 9:17 mark as he would reach the double digit mark with his 10th goal of the season. Egor Sidorov and Tyler Wong assisted on the play.

Misha Volotovskii would extend the Blade lead to two with his ninth marker of the season at the 11:35 mark. Rowan Calvert had the lone helper.

Shots favored the Blades 12-5 after twenty minutes.

The Blades would pick up the lone goal of the second period as Brandon Lisowsky would bury his 41st goal of the season at the 17:32 mark on a 5-on-3 power play to extend the Saskatoon lead to three. Charlie Wright and Egor Sidorov assisted on the play.

Lisowsky would add an insurance goal with his second of the night at the 12:07 mark of the third period.

Max Hildebrand would make 32 saves in net for the Raiders. Austin Elliott made 19 stops for the Blades.

The Raiders and Blades finish the second half of a home-and-home series on Saturday night in Saskatoon. The two teams will match up in the first round of the playoffs regardless of outcome on Saturday.