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Home Sports Raiders blank provincial rivals in Saturday night rematch

Raiders blank provincial rivals in Saturday night rematch

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Raiders blank provincial rivals in Saturday night rematch
Tikhon Chaika mades a save against the Saskatoon Blades on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021.

Nolan Allan’s third period goal was all the offence the Prince Albert Raiders needed as they downed the Saskatoon Blades 1-0 at the SaskTel Centre on Saturday.

Sloan Stanick and Cale Sanders had the helpers, as the Raiders took three of a possible four points from their provincial rivals, and put some distance between themselves and the Calgary Hitmen in the race for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

“We found a way to win,” coach Marc Habscheid said after the game. “That’s all that matters when you get down to the end here: we found a way to win.”

Tikhon Chaika turned away 31 shots for his third shutout of the season, and second in the last three games. Habscheid said Chaika played well, but credited the entire team for shutting down the Saskatoon attack.

“I thought we played pretty good in front of him too,” Habscheid said. “But, he made the stops he needed to.”

The Raiders needed contributions from everyone after leading scorer Ozzy Wiesblatt was tossed for instigating a fight with former Raider Rhett Rhinehart with a few seconds left in the first period.

Wiesblatt responded to Rhinehart hit on Sloan Stannick that sent the Raider forward limping off the ice.

Allan stepped up and scored his fourth of the season to earn the victory, something Habscheid said the team needed after they lost Wiesblatt.

“Everyone’s got to pitch in,” Habscheid said. “He (Allan) is a defender, but he got a good chance there and put it in. We needed that, obviously.

“We lost Wiesblatt for two periods, so we overcame adversity. (There were) lots of calls against us, (we) killed a lot of penalties, (and) got a timely goal. It’s all about finding ways to win.”

The Raiders heavily outshot the Blades in Prince Albert on Friday, but the tables were turned in Saskatoon. Saskatoon led 16-13 in shots after the first and 25-21 after the second, but couldn’t crack the Prince Albert defence.

Allan’s goal with less than eight minutes to play in the third period came just after a holding penalty to Saskatoon’s Tanner Molendyk expired. Stannick fought off a Saskatoon defender and found an unmarked Allan in the slot with Molendyk hustling to get back into the play. The Raider defenceman made no mistake, wiring a shot top shelf for the only goal of the game.

The win puts some distance between the Raiders and Calgary Hitmen, who lost 4-1 in Regina on Saturday. It also helps them keep place with the seventh place Lethbridge Hurricanes, who won 5-2 in Moose Jaw.

As of Saturday night, the Raiders sit all alone in eight place with 50 points. The Hurricanes are seventh with 52, while the Pats and Hitmen sit tied for ninth with 48.

The Swift Current Broncos remain in 11th spot with 47 points. They lost 5-1 to the conference leading Edmonton Oil Kings.

The Raiders are back on the ice Wednesday at home against Swift Current. Game time is 7 p.m.

The Raiders and Hurricanes both have 13 games left on the schedule. The Pats have 15 and the Hitmen have 12.