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Home Sports Raiders can’t overcome slow start in loss to Silvertips

Raiders can’t overcome slow start in loss to Silvertips

Raiders can’t overcome slow start in loss to Silvertips
Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Prince Albert Raiders goaltender Tikhon Chaika lunges to make a save on Everett forward Austin Roest during WHL action at the Art Hauser Centre Saturday

A slow start cost the Prince Albert Raiders as they fell 4-2 to the Everett Silvertips in WHL play Saturday night at the Art Hauser Centre.

Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says there were some positives, but the Raiders did not play a full 60 minutes.

“I think we didn’t get off to a great start in the first period, got some traction with about minutes left in the second and in the third, the battle was on. You can’t play 25 minutes, you got to play 60.”

It was a favourable start for the visitors as Anaheim Ducks prospect Olen Zellweger would pot his seventh goal of the season on the power play just 1:46 into the game,

Caden Zaplitny would strike less than a minute later at the 2:35 mark to double the Everett lead to 2-0 early in the first period.

The Silvertip first period onslaught continued as Zaplitny struck again for his second goal of the contest and third of the season at the 6:52 mark. It was Zapiltny’s first career multi-goal game in the WHL.

Everett outshot the Raiders 18-7 in the opening frame.

Evan Herman broke the seal for the Raiders with his second goal of the season on the power play at the 15:06 mark in the second period. Rookie defenseman Justice Christensen recorded his first career WHL point with the lone assist on the goal.

Christensen says it’s a good feeling to be on the scoresheet for the first time in his career.

“It feels really good. I was pretty excited. It was a good shot by Hermie [Evan Herman].”

Christensen adds the staying out of the penalty box has been helpful for the Raiders recently, but says the team needs to play a full game.

“I think we got to play a full 60, we’ve done a better job at staying out of the box which has helped us a bunch. But playing a full 60 will definitely help us in the future.”

The Raiders would cut the deficit just 3:04 into the third period as Keaton Sorenson would get a rebound past Silvertip netminder Tim Metzger for his seventh goal of the campaign.

Truitt says the Raiders showed good character putting together a comeback, but they need to have a better start against tough opponents.

“Our guys have never quit all season long, and they won’t. That’s just who they are. They’ll always keep battling. But, you got to play 60 against good teams like this.”

The Raiders almost tied the game with 9:19 remaining on a loose puck, but Metzger sprawled to pick it off the goal line with his glove to keep the Silvertips ahead by a goal.

Metzger shut the door the rest of way as Zellweger would add an empty net goal in the dying seconds to give the Silvertips a 4-2 victory.

The Raiders will head to Alberta for a pair of games against Medicine Hat and Lethbridge on Tuesday and Wednesday.