The Prince Albert Raiders had to rally from behind to defeat the Medicine Hat Tigers 5-4 in WHL action at the Art Hauser Centre on Saturday night.
Raiders head coach Jeff Truitt says that Prince Albert had to scratch and claw their way to victory.
“It was a grind it out type game. There were momentum changes back and forth. One team would score and the other one would come back and respond. Physicality, there was lot of intensity in the game on the ice. I liked the overall intensity of our game which we needed.”
The Medicine Hat Tigers opened the scoring just 1:13 into the game as Shane Smith sniped his 7th goal of the campaign past past Chaika to give the visitors from the Gas City the early 1-0 advantage.
Prince Albert outshot Medicine Hat 9-3 in the opening frame.
Brendan Lee would extend the Tigers lead to 2-0 with his 12th goal of the season with a slapshot past Chaika low glove side at the 3:05 mark of the second period.
The Raiders would strike back late in the second period. Sloan Stanick, wearing a full faceguard after taking a puck off the face earlier in the game would snipe a wrist shot glove side on Tigers goaltender Evan May at the 18:23 mark for his 7th goal of the season to cut the Tiger lead to 2-1.
Stanick says he didn’t really want to put the facemask on, but he found chemistry with his linemates after he returned to the game.
“Puffer [Raider trainer Duane Bartley] asked me if I wanted it, but I didn’t really want it, but he put it on so that was good. I don’t know what Soro [Sorenson] was doing playing target with my face or what but Herman and I had good chemistry. It’s good for us to get the win and carry it into next week.”
Prince Albert would tie things up with a buzzer beater to close out the second as the newly minted captain Evan Herman would snipe his third goal of the season at the 19:59 mark.
Herman had recorded a ‘Gordie Howe Hat Trick’ with a goal, an assist and a fight in the first two periods he played as the Raider captain.
Truitt says Herman can contribute in many facets of the game which helps him lead by example.
“That’s what he does. He can score, he’s an intense guy. He’s not going to back down from anybody. He’s got a little bit of everything going for him. From your leader, that’s exactly what you need every night.”
Herman was given the captaincy after former Raider Nolan Allan was shipped to Seattle on Wednesday.
Herman says it is an honor to serve as the Raider captain, but it’s a little bittersweet to take it from a close friend in Nolan Allan.
“It’s a huge honor, we lost a good teammate and more so a best friend in Nolan. Those are big shoes to fill. He was a great Raider and wish him nothing but the best. It’s a great honour.”
The Raiders would take their first lead of the hockey game early in the third period as they capitalized on the power play at the 3:36 mark as Landon Kosior would score his 9th goal of the season. 6 of Kosior’s 9 goals this season have come on the man advantage.
The Tigers would strike back almost immediately with a power play marker of their own. Tyler Mackenzie with his 8th goal of the season at the 4:42 mark would even up the score at 3-3.
Sloan Stanick would strike again with his second of the night at the 10:56 marker to give the Raiders a 4-3 advantage.
Evan Herman would continue his strong game as the captain would record his second goal of the night on a breakaway at 16:53 to double the Raider lead to 5-3.
Cayden Lindstrom would score his 6th goal of the season at the 19:59 mark of the third period to bring Medicine Hat within one as time expired.
With the win, the Raiders improve to 8-12-2-0 on the season. The Raiders will return to action on Friday, Nov. 25 when they travel to Calgary to take on the Hitmen.