Raiders comeback falls short in 3-2 loss to Pats

Prince Albert Raiders forward Brayden Dube carries a puck along the right wing during WHL action at the Art Hauser Centre on Dec. 9 2022

For the second time in as many games, the Prince Albert Raiders would attempt a comeback that would fall one goal short as they fell 3-2 to the Regina Pats at the Art Hauser Centre.

Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says that Prince Albert gave the Pats too many good looks early in the contest.

“We3 didn’t protect the centre ice well enough in the first period. Gave them some excellent looks. We got a little puck focused and our feet just drifted and left the slot wide open, and they get a couple of goals because of it. The details of the game right now is protecting the middle of the ice and not abandoning it.”

Coming into play Friday, the Pats ranked second in the Eastern Conference in goals scored and the high-flying Regina offense would open the scoring at the 10:20 mark of the first period.

Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Stanislav Svozil would snipe one past Raider goaltender Max Hildebrand to give the Pats a 1-0 lead.

Former Moose Jaw Warrior Riley Ginnell would get a rebound and slide it past Hildebrand just over five minutes later to give Regina a 2-0 lead after the first period. Prince Albert product Tanner Howe picked up an assist on the goal for the Pats.

However, the home side Raiders lead the shots 11-7 through 20 minutes.

Ginnell would pick up his second of the night 7:51 into the second period to extend the Pat lead to 3-0. The goal was Ginnell’s 4th of the season. Three of his four goals have come at the Art Hauser Centre dating back to his time with Moose Jaw.

The Raiders would claw their way back into the game starting late in the second period.

The teddy bear toss goal for the Raiders would come courtesy of 16-year-old forward Ryder Ritchie at the 15:10 mark of the second period. He would recover a Regina turnover in the offensive zone and made a sharp angle shot that beat Sim to send the fur flying across the Art Hauser Centre.

Ritchie says it was his first time playing in a teddy bear toss game and he was glad to get the goal.

“It was pretty cool. Good experience, I’ve never experienced one before. Lots of teddy bears were thrown out on the ice and it was a good experience.”

Keaton Sorenson would get the Raiders within one on the power play with his 14th goal of the season just 57 seconds into the third period.

However, Pat goaltender Drew Sim stood tall the rest of the way stopping 25 of 27 Raider shots on route to the victory.

Max Hildebrand took the loss for the Raiders stopping 16 of 19 Pat shots.

“They’re a speed team. They got lots of skill and speed. What needs to change is the execution. Our guys were focused in earlier today and in the first period we made those vital mistakes that gave them big opportunities. We can’t give up big opportunities against Regina or Saskatoon.”

The Raiders return to action Saturday night when they host the Saskatoon Blades at the Art Hauser Centre. Puck drops at 7pm.