Pats beat Raiders to close out WHL pre-season

Prince Albert Raiders forward Eric Pearce spins away from Regina Pats defenceman Parker Gavlas during WHL exhibition play at the Art Hauser Centre of Saturday. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

The Regina Pats gained a measure of revenge for losing the first half of their home-and-home exhibition series with the Prince Albert Raiders.

The Pats scored early and often on route to a 5-1 victory over the Raiders at the Art Hauser Centre on Saturday.

The visitors overwhelmed Prince Albert at points in the game, smothering breakout attempts and scoring chances alike.

“They just worked way harder than we did,” said overage centre Devon Skoleski, who scored the Raiders’ lone goal. “I think our compete level has to be better and we’ve got to stick to our game plan.”

The Pats struck five minutes into the opening frame when Logan Nijhoff fired a quick shot over the shoulder of Raider netminder Nicholas Sanders.

Skoleski tied the game a mere 42 seconds later on a breakaway after receiving a nice feed from Carson Miller.

“I saw Millsy had some time in our zone (and) I saw some open ice in the middle so I cut there,” Skoleski said. “Millsy made a nice tape-to-tape pass, and I had a breakaway.”

However it was all Pats from that point on. Duncan Pierce gave the club their second lead of the game less than two minutes later, making it 2-1 after 20 minutes.

Goals from Liam Schioler and Rayman Bassi made it 4-1 in the second, and Tristen Robins converted a nice cross-ice feed to make it 5-1 in the third.

Sanders and Curtis Meger combined to stop 21 shots for the Raiders while Max Paddock and Jacob Wassermann made 19 saves for the Pats.

The loss gives the Raiders a 2-3-0 record as the pre-season winds down. Even though it didn’t end the way he wanted, Skoleski said he’s seen plenty of positives during that time.

“I think we’ve got a good team here. I think we can do really well this season and make a good playoff run, but we’ve got to compete (hard) first.”

Prince Albert opens the regular season with a trip to Moose Jaw to face the Warriors on Sept. 22. The two teams meet again on Sept. 23 at the Art Hauser Centre for Prince Albert’s home opener. Both games start at 7 p.m.

@kerr_jas •