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Home Sports Raiders bolster lineup as Belarusian imports Chaika and Shilo arrive in Prince Albert

Raiders bolster lineup as Belarusian imports Chaika and Shilo arrive in Prince Albert

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Raiders bolster lineup as Belarusian imports Chaika and Shilo arrive in Prince Albert
Tikhon Chaika makes a save in practice on Wednesday. He is excited to get his first WHL start

The Prince Albert Raiders received some key additions to their lineup, as Belarusian goaltender Tikhon Chaika and forward Vladislav Shilo arrived at practice this week.

Chaika, an 18-year-old who went 2-1-0 with a 2.67 GAA at the World Junior U18 Tournament last year, was happy to talk about his arrival.

“I’m so excited,” Chaika said on Wednesday. “I can’t wait to get my first start in the WHL.”

The Raiders have had a history of Belerusians on their team, the most prominent being Alex “The Viper” Protas, and Ilya Usau. Protas was a part of the championship winning team in 2019, and Usau led the team in rookie scoring in 2019-20 with 52 points in 58 games.

When asked about the success of Belarusian players on the Raiders squad, Chaika said he knew coming in that he would add to that list.

“When I came here, I could feel this power of Belarusian players,” he said. “The coaches and my teammates know about Belerusian players, and I’m so excited to play on this club.”

Chaika arrived in PA at the same time as Shilo, so he already had time to get to know his fellow countryman and new teammate.

“Vlad is pretty bad at English,” Chaika said with a chuckle. “But I try to study (with) him, so I think after a couple of times he can speak with you.”

Chaika will likely get his first WHL start this weekend when the Raiders travel to Medicine Hat on Friday, and Lethbridge on Saturday. He was all smiles when asked about getting his first start in the Western Hockey League.

“I can’t explain how excited I am,” he said. “I’ve been preparing all season, all of last season and this preseason. Now I’m here to help the Raiders win. Every game.”

Chaika also had a message to Raider fans, telling them what to expect from him this season.

“I am a smart goalie who always has fun,” he said. “I’m excited to play on this team, and I’m here to help win.”

Chaika was supposed to arrive in Prince Albert back in August, but after troubles acquiring his visa, that delayed his trip by nearly two months. Now, after nearly 23 hours on the road, both he and Shilo have finally made it.

The travelling isn’t quite done however, as both players will join the Raiders in Alberta this weekend for a pair of road games. First, it will be a trip to Medicine Hat for the second half of their home and home series. The Raiders had the entire week off to prepare, while Medicine Hat played a game on Tuesday, taking down the Swift Current Broncos 5-4 in overtime.

They’ll have a short rest after Friday night’s game, then travel to Lethbridge to take on the Hurricanes. Puck drop for both games is at 7 pm.