First period sinks Raiders in Kennewick

Herald file photo.

A slow start proved to be insurmountable for the Prince Albert Raiders as they fell 5-4 to the Tri-City Americans at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, Washington.

Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says he was very unhappy with how Prince Albert came out in the first period.

“It was unacceptable with the turnovers that we gave up, the poor decisions, just the unawareness that got us down 4 -1. They get a power play goal, but those other goals are on us. You’ve got to be accountable for these things. We talked in between the first and second. They came out with gangbusters in the second and third. But a first period like that is unacceptable, and they know that.” 

Tri-City would open the scoring early as just 1:23 into the contest, Jordan Gavin would strike for his seventh goal of the season to give the Americans an early 1-0 lead. Drew Freer and Alex Serraglio assisted on the game’s opening goal.

Just over six minutes later, Andrew Fan added his second goal of the season to double the American lead at 2-0. Nick Anisimovicz had the lone helper.

The Raiders would cut the lead in half at the 9:59 mark as Brayden Dube would be sprung on a partial breakaway and he would beat Tri-City netminder Kyle Kelsey with a wrist shot high blocker side 

A sharp angle shot from Thomas Tien would beat Chase Coward at the 17:07 mark to restore the two goal advantage for Tri-City. Brandon Whynott and Max Curran assisted on the play.

After a delay of game penalty against the Raiders, the Americans would take advantage of the mistake on the ensuing power play. Seattle Kraken prospect Lukas Dragicevic fired a point shot through traffic that would beat Coward and find the back of the net at the 18:30 mark of the first. Curran and Jake Sloan assisted on the play.

The Raiders would make a goaltending change after the first period with Max Hildebrand replacing Chase Coward. Shots in the first period favored Tri-City 12-9.

The Raiders would look to forge the comeback trail and would get off to a good start in the second period as Krzysztof Macias would find twine for his ninth goal of the season just 2:15 into the middle frame. Harrison Lodewyk and Niall Crocker assisted on the play.

Truitt says the 19-year-old Macias has transitioned well to the North American game after coming over from Poland in the CHL Import Draft.

“When he shoots the puck, he’s a dangerous player. He’s a strong guy with a tremendous shot. He works extremely hard and is a great kid. Everything about him, you just really appreciate it in a young man. He tries so hard and cares so hard. His biggest weapon is the shooting. When he gets a shot through or gets a good opportunity, it’s dangerous. We need more of that from him. He’s got nine goals on the year, which is tremendous.”

Tri-City would restore the three goal advantage just over six minutes later as Drew Freer would score his second of the season unassisted at the 8:22 mark.

The Raiders would cut the deficit back to two on the power play at the 16:19 mark as Aiden Oiring would fire a shot from the high slot past Kelsey to cut the American lead to 5-3. Sloan Stanick and Justice Christensen assisted on the play.

Justice Chirstensen would pull the Raiders within one at the 6:01 mark of the third period after his point shot on the power play made its way through traffic and into the back of the Americans net. Niall Crocker and Sloan Stanick assisted on the play.

The Raiders return to action when they face the defending WHL champion Seattle Thunderbirds. Puck drops at 9 p.m. Saskatchewan time.