Raiders can’t solve Rockets Boyko in loss to finish BC trip

Photo by Steve Dunsmoor/Kelowna Rockets. Prince Albert Raiders forward Ryder Ritchie attempts a shot on goal at Kelowna Rockets goaltender Talyn Boyko during WHL action at Prospera Place on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023.

The Prince Albert Raiders found themselves on the wrong end of a white-hot goaltender as they fell 4-0 to the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place despite outshooting the home side 51-23.

Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says he wasn’t happy with the quality of opportunities the Raiders generated.

“The shot clock might look good, but we didn’t generate an awful lot in the danger zones which we needed to. Everything was from the outside and we didn’t get any traffic at the net, so we made it a pretty easy night for him. The shots on goal kind of flatter us because of the 51 shots but not a lot of them were from the danger zone.”

A pair of first period goals got the Kelowna Rockets off to a hot first period start. Marcus Pacheco got the game’s opening goal at the 4:48 mark of the first period with a wrist shot over the shoulder of Raider netminder Max Hildebrand for his 8th goal of the season. Will Munro and Ceden Price picked up the helpers.

Overager Carson Golder would double the Rocket lead with a power play goal at the 15:32 mark as he would collect a pass in open space and fire his wrist shot past Hildebrand for his 21st goal of the season. Adam Kydd and Gabriel Szturc received assists on the play. 

Elias Carmichael would pick up a key insurance goal for the Rockets at the 6:17 mark of the third period to give Kelowna a three goal advantage. Dylan Wightman and Turner McMillan received assists on the goal.

Carmichael would add a short handed goal with only 11 seconds left to ice it for Kelowna

THe Raiders could not solve New York Rangers prospect Talyn Boyko as the 2021 4th round draft selection turned aside all 51 Raider shots he faced on route to the victory.

Max Hildebrand made 19 saves for the Raiders in the loss.

The Raiders finish the five game BC division road trip with an record of 3-2-0-0, with wins in Prince George, Victoria and Vancouver.

Truitt says the Raiders handled the trip well with many players not having experience against the Western Conference 

“They responded real well. Anytime you are over .500 on the road, you have to be happy with it. The biggest thing is that you are looking for the wins and this is an experience for a lot of them. It’s different venues against different teams. At the end of the day, this is a situation where we are looking for points. To come out 3-2 off this road trip, you can’t hang your head at that. You have to take a look at the positives.”

The Prince Albert Raiders return to action on Friday, Feb. 10th when they travel to Swift Current to take on the Broncos. Prince Albert returns home on Saturday, Feb. 11th against Swift Current. Puck drops at 7 p.m. both nights