It took more than the regular 60 minutes and an unlikely hero for the Prince Albert Raiders to walk away with a 4-3 victory and a season series sweep over the Edmonton Oil Kings at Roger’s Place on Saturday night.
Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says the Raiders were a little slow from the drop of the puck, but improved as the game went on in what turned into a back-and-forth affair.
“The proof is in the result that we got the two points. We were slow out of the gates in the first period. It was almost like we had the bus legs and we kind of had to fight through some things and we were down 1-0. Then it turned into a topsy-turvy game where we get two and we are up 2-1, then they score and we score. Nobody took control for a long period of time. Overtime, you talk about topsy-turvy, didn’t know Terrell Goldsmith would be the guy at the crease putting the winner in but good for him and we got the two points that we wanted.”
Carter Kowalyk would open the scoring with a quick point shot off a faceoff that beat Tikhon Chaika to give the Edmonton Oil Kings an early 1-0 advantage 6:22 into the first period. Vojtech Port and Gavin Hodnett would be credited with the assists.
Prince Albert outshot the home side Oil Kings 6-3 in the opening frame.
The Raiders would respond at the 12:59 mark of the second period as rookie forward Ryder Ritchie would put home a rebound past Edmonton goaltender Logan Cunningham to knot the score at 1-1. Sloan Stanick and Erik Johnston would pick up assists on the goal.
It appeared the Oil Kings would regain some momentum after Justice Christensen would be assessed a double minor for high sticking at the 16:38 mark of the second period
However, the Raider penalty kill had other plans. Just twenty-six seconds later, Keaton Sorenson would carry the puck out of the Raider zone and take it all the way down the ice and rip a wrist shot past Cunningham to give Prince Albert their first lead of the hockey game at 2-1 with his 15th goal of the season, of the short-handed variety.
It was the second short handed goal scored in Edmonton for the Raiders this season, with Landon Kosior scoring the game winner back on Oct. 21.
Prince Albert outshot Edmonton 13-6 in the second period.
The scoring in the third period would come early and often.
With time still remaining on the Christensen double minor, The Oil Kings would take advantage 0:28 in the third period with just four seconds remaining in the power play, Gavin Hodnett would set up Rhett Melnyk for his 11th goal of the season to tie the game. Cole Miller would pick up the other assist on the goal.
The game wouldn’t stay even for long as Aiden Oiring would be sprung on a breakaway and the 17-year-old would make no mistake with his shot going through the legs of Cunningham to restore the Raider lead at 3-2.
Truitt says the quick answers were a big part in keeping the momentum on the Raiders side.
“We scored that short handed goal and that was a big relief for us. We wanted to build on it and then it goes back and forth. Oiring scores to give us a little bit of room again. It was a great response and we needed that. Mentally, we didn’t want to get down and not get the jump going and that wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t score. We seemed to answer the challenge when we needed to and we got the last goal.”
The Raiders would head to the penalty kill after Owen Boucher would be called for a holding penalty at the 10:59 mark of the third period.
Rilen Kovacevic would even up the score with just two seconds remaining on the Boucher penalty as he would fire a wrist shot bar down and past Tikhon Chaika to tie the game at 3. Vojtech Port and Noah Boyko would assist the goal.
60 minutes wasn’t enough to decide a winner between the Oil Kings and Raiders with overtime being necessary.
The overtime winner came from an unlikely source for the Raiders 2:16 into the extra frame. Ryder Ritchie would throw a puck on net that would be stopped by Logan Cunningham, but Terrell Goldsmith would tap home the rebound for his 3rd goal of the season and the overtime winner. The goal was the first for Goldsmith since Sept. 30 in Moose Jaw.
Truitt says it was good to see Goldsmith jump in an offensive play, contrary to his normal defensive play style
“He is a defender. He is a defending type of defenceman, he is big and strong and everything. When he keeps things simple and moves the puck up the ice, that’s a plus. That’s probably what his identity will be at the next level if he gets there. Every defenceman likes to jump in a play every once in a while, when it’s 3-on-3 in overtime and you get an opportunity to go for it. It was the dealbreaker for us here tonight, so good for him.”
The Raiders return to action on Wednesday night when they welcome the Eastern Conference leading Winnipeg ICE to the Art Hauser Centre. Puck drops at 7pm.