Magical night for Macias: Three point night helps Raiders down Wheat Kings

Photo by Mark PEterson Media/Prince Albert Raiders. Krzysztof Macias celebrates a goal for the Prince Albert Raiders during Saturday night's win at the Art Hauser Centre.

The Prince Albert Raiders rebounded in a big way as they downed the Brandon Wheat Kings 7-3 at the Art Hauser Centre on Saturday night.

Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says the team rebounded nicely after a disappointing loss in Saskatoon on Friday night.

“Coming off a tough loss there last night where it kind of got away from us in the third period. A lot to do with us. To come back and reset here today, guys put on a great performance, good, hardworking performance. We competed and we were in motion. We were hard on pucks. We were winning battles. We were in good positions. A lot went right, and it’s because of the work ethic and our commitment leads to a lot of momentum. That’s what we had in the third.” 

The goals would come early and often in the first period for both sides.

Just ten seconds in, Brandon’s Nolan Flamand would open the scoring with his 17th goal of the season. Caleb Hadland and Rhett Ravndahl picked up the helpers.

The Raiders would respond at the 3:57 mark as Sloan Stanick would deposit his 22nd goal of the season to pull Prince Albert even. Aiden Oiring had the lone helper.

Brett Hyland would respond for the Wheat Kings with his 29th goal of the season coming on the power play at the 6:35 mark after a penalty against Prince Albert’s Terrell Goldsmith. Andrei Maliavin and Roger McQueen picked up the helpers.

With his mom Agnieszka and dad Marcin visiting Canada from Poland, Krzysztof Macias would find twine with his 17th goal of the season off a rebound to pull the Raiders even.  Doogan Pederson assisted on the play.

Macias says it was special to have his parents in attendance in Prince Albert.

“I think it was a good game for our team. That’s the most important part. I am happy my family saw that from the stands. I’m kind of mad that my brother couldn’t be here with us, but I am sure he was watching and I think they were happy about it and I’m very excited that they were here for five games and I hope they’re happy with my play.”

The Raider power play would give Prince Albert their first lead of the hockey game at the 10:50 mark as Oli Chenier would reach double digits with his 10th goal of the campaign. Brayden Dube and Terrell Goldsmith received the assists.

Shots favored the Raiders 17-9 after the first period.

After a kneeing call against Harrison Lodewyk near the mid way mark of the second period, the Raiders would choose a perfect time to strike for their fourth short handed goal of the season.

Turner McMillen would feed Niall Crocker on a partial two-on-one break and the Raider assistant captain would make no mistake converting on his 18th goal of the season to double the Prince Albert lead to 4-2 at the 8:29 mark.

Dominik Petr would bring the Wheat Kings within one at the 18:51 mark of the second period. As a Wheat King power play was expiring, the Czech import would lean into a one timer from the right circle that would beat Max Hildebrand for his 13th goal of the season. Luke Shipley and Quinn Mantei picked up the assists on the play.

Shots favored the Raiders 29-15 after forty minutes of play.

The two goal lead would be restored for the Raiders at the 4:50 mark of the third period. The 19-year-old Polish import would tip a Turner McMillen shot past Ethan Eskit for his second goal of the hockey game and 18th of the campaign.

Truitt says Macias has shown plenty of improvement since arriving in Prince Albert due to how well he takes feedback from the Raider coaching staff.

“He had to learn and get accustomed to the way that we played and the ice surface and everything. But he’s a guy that loves the game and wants to learn and continues to learn any direction that we ever give him. He’s a real coachable kid, and he’s adapted real well, and he knows what his weapons are. He shoots very well, and he’s more and more confident in traffic, and he’s come a long way since he first got here.”

Niall Crocker would extend the Raider with his 19th goal of the season on the power play at the 11:43 mark. Macias picked up his third point of the night with an assist on the play. Stanick also had a helper on the play.

After a roughing penalty called against local product Matt Henry of the Brandon Wheat Kings, Sloan Stanick would match his jersey number with goal number 23 on the season on the power play at the 15:48 mark. Niall Crocker and Justice Christensen assisted on the play.

Max Hildebrand made 21 saves for the Raiders. Ethan Eskit made 38 stops for the Wheat Kings.

With the win and the Calgary Hitmen falling in regulation to Moose Jaw earlier in the day, the Raiders propelled to seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Truitt says the Raiders are closely watching what is happening in other games around the WHL now that the playoffs draw closer.

“We’ve been scoreboard watching since December with this flip flopping that’s going on between Calgary and us. And now Lethbridge kind of enters into the space, too, so there’s going to be lots of bouncing balls going on here and we continue to watch.”

The Raiders hit the road next weekend as they head to Co-Op Place in Medicine Hat to take on the Central Division leading Tigers. Puck drops at 8 p.m. Saskatchewan time.