Raiders’ comeback falls short in Everett

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. The Prince Albert Raiders celebrate a goal during a home game earlier this season.

Two goals from Sloan Stanick and 39 saves from Chase Coward weren’t enough for the Prince Albert Raiders to overcome the Everett Silvertips on Wednesday.

The Raiders found themselves down 4-1 in the second period, but managed to claw their way back within one goal thanks to Stanick’s two tallies. However, Silvertips goaltender Ethan Chadwick slammed the door shut the rest of the way, giving Prince Albert their second loss on their U.S. road trip.

Raiders coach Jeff Truitt said his team elevated their game in Everett, but made a few costly mistakes at key times.

“It was a hard-working game (with) two teams that can skate real well,” Truitt said afterwards. “The pace was great. It was just unfortunate we had the 6-on-5 for two minutes, had some looks, but we just didn’t get it done.

“We had a couple of really good looks there but (there were) a couple little detail plays that we should have made and didn’t. It ended up in the back of the net and that’s the fine line when you’re up against a good team like Everett.”

Niall Crocker had the other goal for Prince Albert, while Carter Bear, Austin Roest, Jesse Heslop and Teague Patton responded for Everett.

The loss means the Raiders remain in third in the East just one point behind the division-leading Saskatoon Blades and even with the Moose Jaw Warriors, who have played one less game. The Silvertips have now won three in a row and moved past Tri-City for third in the U.S. Division.

“We knew that this was going to be a fast team, a team that could pressure and counter-attack on you real fast,” Truitt said. “They got up on us and we learned a lesson about our puck movement and how much time you don’t have with the puck, but by the same token, I thought we did a lot of good things here tonight.”

The Silvertips peppered the Raider goal with shots all night, forcing Raiders goaltender Chase Coward to make 39 saves, 20 of which came in the second period. Truitt credited the overage netminder for keeping the club in the game.

“The came at us in waves and I thought he made some good controlled saves,” Truitt said. “He controlled the puck. He had the one goal that kind of went through him, but other than that, he had a one-timer that was pretty tough to stop. I thought overall he gave us a chance and we need a little bit more run support for him.”

Stanicks two goals give him a team-leading 30 points on the season. Truitt said the Raider forward was rewarded for his play at both ends of the rink.

“He skated really well here tonight, I thought, not only in the offensive zone, but tracking hard into our defensive zone,” Truitt said. “Sometimes as a scorer, guys think they can get away with that stuff, but Sloan proved tonight he was working 200 ft. and he got rewarded for his hard work.”

The Silvertips had the first glorious chance of the game on Wednesday when rookie import Julius Miettinen had Coward beat, but hit the post with a back hand. Everett opened the scoring less than a minute later when Patton split the Raider defence and beat Coward with a wrist shot blocker side.

The home side made it 2-0 on the power play when Roest hammered a one-timer past Coward roughly four-and-a-half minutes later.

The Silvertips had a chance to go up 3-0 when captain Ben Hemmerling and Beau Courtney broke on a shorthanded 2-on-1 forcing Coward to make a point-blank save. The Raider power play stormed back up the ice, where Crocker fired a wrist shot through Chadwick’s glove and into the net to make it 2-1.

The Silvertips wasted little time extending their lead in the second period. The Everett forecheck forced a turnover, and Bear beat Coward with a wrist shot high glove side just 2:17 into the period.

There was no further scoring until the final six minutes of the frame. Bear made it 4-1 when he took a feed in the slot and beat Coward with a wrist shot just four seconds after a neutral zone faceoff.

Stanick replied less than two minutes later for Prince Albert with his first of the night. The Raider forward wheeled his way into the shot and beat Chadwick high blocker side to make it 4-2.

The score remained 4-2 until the final six minutes of the third period. Stanick blew by the Silvertips defence on the outside, cut to the net, and lifted the puck over Chadwick’s shoulder.

The Raiders had a great opportunity to tie things up in the last minute when Courtney was sent off for delay of game after chipping the puck into the stands with 47 seconds left. Although they kept Everett hemmed in their own end for the rest of the game, the Raiders struggled to get any shots on goal, giving the Silvertips a 4-3 win.

The Raiders are back in action on Friday when they take on the Portland Winterhawks who lead the U.S. Division with a 12-4-0-1 record.