Raider comeback falls short in road loss to Moose Jaw

Eric Johnston of the Prince Albert Raiders. Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald.

The Prince Albert Raiders couldn’t overcome an early deficit as they fell 5-4 to the Moose Jaw Warriors on the road on Sunday afternoon

Raider head coach Jeff Truitt said the Raiders didn’t play strong in the opening twenty minutes, which cost the team the game.

“First period was awful. We made turnovers. You expect your better players, your best players to be your better players. And I thought that they turned pucks over. They didn’t make the right reads. We gave them a three spot in the first period. Our effort just wasn’t there. We were just shy on things. We weren’t aggressive or asserting ourselves the right way.” 

Moose Jaw would score three goals in the first period to take an early 3-0 lead.

Jagger Firkus would open the scoring with his 14th goal of the season at the 4:01 mark.

Just over a minute and a half later, Lynden Lakovic put a rebound home to double the Warrior lead with his sixth of the season. Lucas Brenton and Atley Calvert assisted on the play

Firkus would add his second goal of the afternoon at the 9:30 mark shorthanded. The goal was unassisted.

Moose Jaw would extend their lead to 4-0 at the 3:40 mark of the second period. Warrior captain Denton Mateychuk would add his third goal of the season. Ethan Hughes had the lone assist.

Prince Albert would respond just over a minute later as Matej Kubiesa would be sprung on a breakaway and the Czech forward would make no mistake for his fourth goal of the season.

Just over two minutes later, Harrison Lodewyk would cut the Warrior lead to just 4-2 with his first goal of the season. Sloan Stanick and Doogan Pederson assisted on the play.

After a Raider turnover, Jagger Firkus would add his 16th of the season to complete the hat trick at the 17:26 mark to restore the three goal advantage for Moose Jaw.

Truitt says the Raiders needed to communicate with each other better when they possessed the puck.

“That’s just making the easy play. It’s not hard. You need to hear people and be aware, get your head up, make an easy play. You don’t want to put things through the middle of the ice in your own zone and that happens a couple of times. You pay a price.”

The comeback effort for the Raiders would continue in the third period. Just 1:54 in, Krzysztof Macias would strike for his seventh goal of the season. Stanick and Pederson assisted on the play.

Hayden Pakkala would bring the Raiders within a single goal at the 15:46 mark with his fourth of the season. Stanick had the lone assist on the play.

The Raiders would press for the equalizer, but Dimitri Fortin made 29 saves to earn the win in net for Moose Jaw.

Max Hildebrand returned to the lineup for Prince Albert after missing time with a lower body injury, making 31 saves.

The Raiders return to action on Wednesday night when they take on Tanner Howe and the Regina Pats at the Brandt Centre in Regina. Puck drops at 7 p.m.