Latimer and Johnston pick up points in Raiders 5-2 win over Pats

Sloan Stanick scored the opening goal in a 5-2 Raiders win over the Regina Pats Friday night at the Art Hauser Centre. --Kyle Kosowan/Daily Herald

Carson Latimer and Eric Johnston got off to a good start with the green and gold, each picking up an assist as the Prince Albert Raiders downed the Regina Pats 5-2, winning their third straight game.

Cale Sanders scored twice and added an assist, and Keaton Sorenson chipped in with a goal and two helpers, as the Raiders leapfrogged the Pats in the East division.

Johnston was paired with Landon Kosior on defence tonight, and he feels they are already clicking together.

“It felt really good,” he said. “Me and Landon go way back. We live in Regina and we skate in the summer so I know him pretty well. I think the chemistry we have already is getting better each day.”

Sloan Stanick opened the scoring with the game’s first goal at the 12:07 mark of the first period, working from the left corner and sniping a shot from the slot past Pats starter Matthew Kieper. Just three minutes later, Johnston found his way onto the scoresheet with an assist on a Cale Sanders goal that made it a 2-0 Raider lead.

“That goal was definitely a step forward in the game,” Johnston said. “I thought the boys got a lot of momentum, and we were moving forward from there.”

With just four seconds to go in the first period, Sanders added another goal, burying a shot from the crease on a jam play in front of the net, giving Prince Albert all the momentum after period number one.

Prince Albert’s Tanner Howe scored the first goal of the second period on the powerplay on a perfect one timed shot from the right circle. He beat Tikhon Chaika, cutting the Pats deficit to 3-1. Howe recently returned to Regina’s lineup after being in Ottawa for the Capital City Challenge, where his team won gold.

Just under a minute later the Raiders regained their three goal edge as Evan Herman placed a terrific backhand shot past Kieper, making it a 4-1 contest.

With 4:26 left in the middle frame, Keaton Sorenson let a soft shot go from the point that somehow found it’s way past Kieper, and the Raiders would take a 5-1 lead into the second intermission. Kiper’s night was done after two periods, as Drew Sim replaced him between the pipes.

Just 22 seconds into the third, the Pats scored a very weird goal. With the Raiders on the man advantage, Chaika stopped the puck for Nolan Allan, and Allan misplayed the puck, as it went off his skate and into the net. Braxton Whitehead got credit for the goal on the misplay, and it became a 5-2 game.

Prince Albert shut Connor Bedard and the rest of the Pats from there, as Chaika made some nice saves on Bedard in the third, as the Raiders won 5-2, giving them their third straight victory.

For head coach Marc Habscheid, this game was about more than winning. It was about the Swaby family, who recently lost Matt last week.

“For everyone tonight, it was for the Swaby’s,” Habscheid said. “It was a tough day for them, it’s a horrible thing that happened. Our condolences go out to them.”

The 50/50 in Friday’s game reached a total of $32,863, with the community helping support the Swaby family after the tragedy.

Habscheid said it was nice to get the win tonight, especially with the recent trade of captain Kaiden Guhle.

“It was nice to get the win,: he said. “We lost our captain, which was another emotional thing for these guys, and two new guys came in. They’re good human beings, and we didn’t know how the group was going to respond, but they gutted it out. It was an emotional week, and tonight wasn’t perfect by any means, and we got it done.”

The Raiders are off until Tuesday when they welcome the Swift Current Broncos.