The Prince Albert Raiders trailed 4-1 in the second period, but clawed back to force overtime, picking up one point in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Swift Current Broncos Tuesday night at the Art Hauser Centre.
Head coach Marc Habscheid was frustrated with the way his team started the game.
“I didn’t like a lot of it,” Habscheid said. “I thought we were sleepy. A lot of our guys weren’t ready to play. Swift Current came in late, credit to them, but we won three in a row, and it was disappointing tonight.”
The Broncos scored two goals just two minutes apart in the first period. Caleb Wyrostok opened the scoring with his 7th goal of the year, giving Swift Current a 1-0 lead. Grayson Burzynski followed his own rebound and made a nice forehand drag move, and beat Tikhon Chaika to make it a 2-0 game midway through the first.
Sam McGinley made it a 3-0 Broncos lead just 1:09 into the second period, bjut Sloan Stanick answered back 30 seconds later. Stanick scored his 8th of the year 1:38 into the middle frame, and made it a 3-1 contest.
With 9:39 left in the second, Owen Pickering found his 6th goal of the year after a turnover in the Raiders zone. Pickering fired a shot from the slot, beating Chaika’s glove, making it 4-1. Chaika saw his night come to an end after giving up the fourth goal.
The Raiders would mount the comeback from there. First, it was Ozzy Wiesblatt taking a pass from Landon Kosior and beating Reid Dyck, pulling the Raiders back to within two goals. Stanick picked up an assist on the goal, and he said that’s when Prince Albert came back to life.
“I thought we had a good chance after those first two goals,” Stanick said. “Carson and Ozzy both made great plays and we put the puck in the back of the net. Carson’s very fast, he has a great shot, pretty smart as well. Ozzy’s a great all around player, he was drafted in the first round for a reason. I think we’re really coming along and creating offence together.”
Latimer scored his first goal as a Raider just 45 seconds into the third period. Wiesblatt fed him a pass, and he made no mistake, scoring his 7th goal of the year, pulling the Raiders back to within one goal.
Eight minutes later, Cale Sanders pulled off a ridiculous goal. In front of the Broncos net, he batted the puck out of midair and in, tying the game, and bringing the fans at the Art Hauser Centre back to life.
Regulation would end with a 4-4 tie, and overtime was needed to find a winner.
In the extra period, end to end rushes were a common occurrence, and it ended with Josh Davies on a breakaway for the Broncos. He crossed the Raider blueline and snapped a shot past Carter Serhyenko and in, giving the Broncos two points, and snapping Prince Albert’s three game winning streak.
“We were fortunate to get a point tonight,” Habscheid added. “We were down 4-1 and we shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place. A lot of it was self inflicted tonight, and that’s what’s disappointing.”
The Raiders have found themselves having to claw back from behind in a lot of games this season, and Habscheid said the team had to come ready to play every night.
“When you have slow starts, bad things are going to happen. You get carried away and think things are going to happen. Sure, you can show up physically, but you have to be there mentally as well.”
In the tight race that the Eastern Conference has become, the Raiders now trail the Broncos by three points. They have a chance to get back in the win column on Friday night in Regina.
The Raiders next home game is this Saturday, as they play the Calgary Hitmen for the first time this season, and it is also teddy bear toss night.
Puck drop is at 7pm.