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Home Sports Guhle receives video tribute in first game back in Prince Albert, Oil Kings top Raiders 5-2

Guhle receives video tribute in first game back in Prince Albert, Oil Kings top Raiders 5-2

Guhle receives video tribute in first game back in Prince Albert, Oil Kings top Raiders 5-2
Kaiden Guhle waves to the Raider crowd after a video tribute in the first period. The Oil Kings topped the Raiders 5-2 on Saturday night at the Art Hauser Centre. --Kyle Kosowan/Daily Herald

Kaiden Guhle made his highly anticipated return to the Art Hauser Centre on Saturday, playing his first game in Prince Albert since he was traded to the Edmonton Oil Kings in December.

The Oil Kings capped the special occasion off with a 5-2 win over the Raiders, handing the home side their sixth straight loss.

Emotions appeared to get the better of the Raiders in the contest, as tempers were flaring all game long. Head coach Marc Habscheid says discipline was the biggest issue in the loss.

“It was a chippy game, obviously,” he said. “We don’t like losing, but we took too many penalties. If we’re going to take penalties, they’re going to be good penalties, but not undisciplined. Bad penalties don’t work, and they’re not going to be tolerated.”

During the first media timeout in the first period, the crowd of 2,322 gave the former Raider captain a much deserved standing ovation while a video tribute played.

“It was pretty special,” Guhle said. “I spent a lot of my career here, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without that staff and the guys in the room, so it was special to get a little recognition from them. It really shows how much of a first class organization they are.”

The Oil Kings don’t have another game at the Art Hauser Centre this season, barring a postseason contest, which means Guhle may have played his last game in the building. He said he although it was an emotional night, he tried to treat it like a regular game.

“It was a little different being on the other side and walking through the other doors and being in the other room,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s just a game and it’s the same old.”

Edmonton jumped out in front after the first period thanks to a pair of powerplay goals. Josh Williams opened the scoring on a one timed blast from the slot. Jakub Demek fed a pass to Williams from the goal line, and the Oil Kings forward beat Chaika short side for his 21st goal of the season, putting Edmonton up 1-0 with 13:39 to go in the first.

Justin Sourdif followed suit with a powerplay goal of his own with 10:06 left in the opening frame. He made a move at the blue line to find some open space, and the former Vancouver Giant captain ripped a shot past Chaika, making it a 2-0 Edmonton lead. Sourdif picked up his 10th goal of the season, and first as an Oil King, after being acquired by the team at the trade deadline.

Leading 15-4 in shots after the opening 20 minutes, Edmonton went into the first intermission with the two goal advantage.

After Trevor Thurston received a double minor for high sticking, Sourdif netted his second powerplay goal of the contest on a one timer from the slot. Carter Souch fed the forward a pass from the far wall, and Sourdif converted on the tic tac toe play started by Logan Dowhaniuk. Special teams was the tale of the tape for the Oil Kings in the first period and a half, scoring their first three goals on the man advantage.

One of the bright spots in the second period for the Raiders came from Dallyn Peekeekoot. In the Raiders defensive zone, Peekeekoot laid a huge open ice hit on the Oil Kings captain. Neighbours was clearly hurt on the clean hit, and Peekeekoot was forced to answer, as he dropped the gloves with Sourdif. The scrap was short, and both players were handed out five minutes for fighting.

Cale Sanders put the Raiders on the board with 2:16 left in the second frame on a rocket shot from the top of the crease. A pass from the near corner from Hayden Pakkala found the stick of Sanders, and he wasted no time, one timing a shot past Kolby Hay. After giving up three straight goals to start the game, Prince Albert responded to make it a 3-1 contest after 40 minutes.

After taking hit after hit earlier in the game, Neighbours found his sweet revenge with a goal early in the third period. A turnover in the Raider zone led to Neighbours being all alone in front of the net, and he buried a shot past Chaika. His 12th goal of the season was a silencer, making it a 4-1 Edmonton lead just 4:06 into the final frame.

After a mess in the Prince Albert end, Jalen Luypen was able to make it a 5-1 game. A weird play in the zone led to Luypen scoring past a scrambling Chaika for his 18th goal of the season. After a frustrating sequence of stoppages prior to the goal, the Oil Kings were able to add more salt to the wound, going up by four with 10:50 left in regulation.

Sanders potted his second goal of the game with 5:18 left in the game. A fake one timer at the point from Eric Johnston had Hay temporarily out of position as the Raider defenceman sent a pass cross ice for Sanders. With time to load up a shot, he fired one five hole, which Hay got a piece but not enough, and it became a 5-2 game late in the final frame.

A fight with under five minutes to go in the third broke out between Evan Herman and Simon Kubicek. Kubicek got the upper hand in the bout, landing some big blows on the Raider forward, who was heavily undersized against the 6’2 defenceman. After both players hit the ice, Herman was fuming as he made his way to the dressing room.

Chaika made 35 saves on 40 shots, while Hay stopped 17 of 19 shots thrown his way, as the Oil Kings came out on top 5-2.

“We’ve lost a bunch of games recently, so we have to battle back somehow,” Sanders said of the physical play late in the game. “We’re trying to get out of this slump, we’re battling and trying to get back, and we’re working hard. We just have to clean up our plays in the defensive zone and make the simple plays, and I think we’ll be fine.”

The Raiders’ losing streak is now at six games. Prince Albert fell to 15-24-1-1 with the loss, while the Oil Kings improved to 31-11-2-1, and they’re three points back of the Everett Silvertips for first place in the WHL.

Next up for the Raiders is a home game on Tuesday, as they welcome the Calgary Hitmen.