Finley records hat trick, Raiders drop third straight with 6-2 loss to ICE

Sloan Stanick surveys his options in the offensive zone against the Winnipeg ICE earlier this month at the Art Hauser Centre. --Kyle Kosowan/Daily Herald

Despite scoring in the first minute of the game, the Prince Albert Raiders couldn’t contain the firepower of the Winnipeg ICE, dropping a 6-2 decision on Saturday night on the road. Special teams were an issue once again for the Raiders, who surrendered three powerplay goals in the contest. With the loss, Prince Albert fell to 0-2 on their three game Manitoba road trip.

Contrary to Friday night when the Raiders gave up the first goal of the game 13 seconds into the first period against the Brandon Wheat Kings, the Raiders scored the game’s opening goal 22 seconds into the first period in Winnipeg. Vlad Shilo brought the puck across the blue line and fired a shot from 40 feet away that handcuffed Daniel Hauser. Winnipeg’s goaltender couldn’t get his blocker on the long range try that had no business going in, but just like that, Prince Albert took a 1-0 lead on Shilo’s seventh goal of the season.

The ICE responded with a powerplay goal with 4:25 left in the first period on a nice setup play from behind the net. Zachary Benson sent a pass below the goal line to Owen Pederson, who sent a quick pass in front for Jack Finley. Alone in the low slot, Finley fired a one timer far side on Max Hildebrand. On the only man advantage of the first period, Winnipeg found the game’s tying goal, and made it a 1-1 game through 20 minutes.

The powerplay struck again for the ICE in the second period, as Matthew Savoie put Winnipeg in front. Shortly after an offensive zone entry, Conor Geekie sent a long pass in front for Savoie, who was able to redirect a shot past Hildebrand, who was sliding across his crease, but couldn’t get to the shot in time. Striking on both of their man advantages so far in the contest, the ICE took a 2-1 lead four minutes into the middle frame.

Winnipeg scored their first five on five goal of the game with 7:13 left in the second period. From the half wall, Chase Wheatcroft sent a hard pass in front for Skyler Bruce. Electing not to shoot, Bruce slipped a short pass across the crease for Evan Friesen, who had an easy tap in with Hildebrand unable to react in time for the pass. Friesen’s marker gave the ICE a 3-1 lead more than halfway through the second period.

Mustering only one shot on goal in the second period compared to 14 from Winnipeg, the Raiders went into the third period trailing by two goals.

After Keaton Sorenson drilled a shot off the post that would’ve brought the Raiders back to within one, the ICE turned the play back the other way into the Prince Albert end and took a 4-1 lead. Owen Pederson lifted Nolan Allan’s stick near the left circle, and sent a pass towards the net. The puck came out in front for Finley, who swept a shot on goal past Hildebrand and in, giving the ICE a three goal cushion on his second goal of the night.

Pederson connected with Finley again 8:14 into the third period, as Finley scored his hat trick goal. Breaking down the left wing, Pederson fed a pass to Finley’s forehand, and he made no mistake, directing a shot past Hildebrand, making it a 5-1 Winnipeg lead. Nolan Orzeck made it a 6-1 lead with a snipe from the right circle less than two minutes later.

Allan had the lone bright spot in the third period for the Raiders, scoring on the powerplay. After a battle in the corner, the puck worked its way up to the point for the defenceman, who sent a pass across to Landon Kosior. Returning the favour, Kosior gave a pass right back to Allan, who fired a one timer through traffic that beat Hauser. His sixth goal of the year made it a 6-2 game.

Allan’s goal was the final tally in the third period, as Winnipeg handed the Raiders their third straight loss by a 6-2 final.

These two teams are back at it again on Sunday night, as the Raiders look to end their road swing with a win.