The Prince Albert Raiders would give a comeback everything they had, but they could not pick up two points as they fell 4-3 to the Regina Pats in overtime during WHL action at the Art Hauser Centre Friday night.
Coming into play Friday, the Raiders had allowed 46 goals in the first period, the most they’ve allowed in any period this season.
The trend would continue as the visiting Regina Pats would strike for a trio of goals in the opening frame.
Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says the Raiders didn’t play to their ability on the penalty kill early in the contest.
“Our penalty kill had to be better in the first period. We gave them two right away and we didn’t generate much in the first for momentum or anything like that. We were chasing the game in the first. Second and third, I thought we were real good. We were a lot harder on it. Coming back from 3-0 is never easy, we did it and we would’ve liked to have gotten that extra point but we didn’t. Two thirds of the game I was happy with, the first period I wasn’t”
Regina would start the scoring 7:06 into the first period. Easton Armstrong would get a strong break off the left wing and rip a wrist shot past Max Hildebrand for his 13th goal of the season high glove side to give the Pats the early 1-0 lead. Luke Bateman would pick up the lone assist.
The Pats would double their lead at 14:58 with a power play marker courtesy of Borya Valis. Tanner Brown and Alexander Suzdalev would pick up the assists.
The strong period for the Pats as Washington Capitals prospect Alexander Suzdalev would notch his 21st goal of the season on the power play to increase the Regina lead to 3-0. Tanner Brown would pick up his second assist of the period on the goal.
Neither team would find the back of the net in the second period. Shots would favor the Raiders 12-8.
Truitt says he saw some good signs from the Raiders despite no goals in the middle frame and he was impressed by the character the Raiders showed forming a comeback in the third period.
“We just talked about that in the dressing room. You don’t give up. That’s where we got to dig in. It goes one of two ways, it either gets away or you start building momentum and start doing good things. Two thirds of this game, even though we didn’t score in the second period, we still did good things. The third period we were outstanding and that’s what we have to build off of.”
It didn’t take long for the Raiders to break through on the score column in the third period. Just 1:35 in, Harrison Lodewyk would make a strong pass to Carson Latimer in the centre of the ice who would make no mistake with a wrist shot past Pats goaltender Drew Sim low glove side to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Corbin Vaughn would be sent off for a high sticking double minor at the 6:39 and the Raider power play would get to work.
Landon Kosior would record his team leading 8th power play goal and 12th of the season at 7:11 to cut the Regina lead to just one at 3-2. Sloan Stanick and Ryder Ritchie would record assists on the play.
The Raiders would find the equalizer courtesy of Gabe Ludwig’s 5th goal of the season coming at the 15:08 mark of the third period. Carson Latimer would pick up the lone assist.
However, the Regina Pats would foil the Raider comeback and walk away with two points from the contest. The game winner would come from overager Tanner Brown at the 3:41 mark of the five minute 3-on-3 overtime frame.
With the overtime loss, the Raiders fall to 10-20-3-0 on the season while the Pats improve to 18-16-1-1.
In net, Max Hildebrand took the loss for the Raiders making 25 saves while Drew Sim made 41 saves to earn the win for Regina
The Pats and Raiders lock horns again on New Year’s Day at the Brandt Centre in Regina. Puck drops at 4pm.