Raiders drop close contest to Portland on late regulation goal

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Prince Albert Raiders forward Aiden Oiring takes a faceoff against Portland Winterhawks forward Kyle Chyzowski during WHL action Tuesday at the Art Hauser Centre

A late Portland Winterhawks goal with just over two minutes in regulation was too much for the Prince Albert Raiders to overcome as they fell 5-3 at the Art Hauser Centre.

Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says the Raiders were up to the task against a strong Portland opposition.

“Lost faceoff, it’s a play we knew they were running and we were late getting off the wall and our inside winger didn’t really help out and it was a screened shot that got through Chaika. We battled back and we knew it was a hard game. We killed off a five minute power play in the first period. Back and forth type of game and goals aren’t easy to come by. It’s a detail of a game that when the chips are down with a few minutes left you got to be able to execute those types of plays to preserve a tie and take it to overtime.”

Neither team would find the back of the net in the first period, but the Raiders would face a steep test in the opening frame.

Hayden Pakkala would be ejected from the game with 11:40 remaining in the first period after laying a big hit out on Winterhawks centerman Jack O’Brien. Pakkala was assessed a five minute major for charging to go with his game misconduct. 

On the ensuing five minute major, it appeared the Winterhawks had opened the scoring with just 0:13 remaining in the power play. The goal was waved off due to a crease violation on Portland which gave the Raiders a successful penalty kill.

Truitt says he thought the Raiders were able to respond well to the adapting Portland power play and were strong getting pucks down the ice.

“I thought we did a lot of good things. We did a good job positionally because they switch up their formations on the power play. We were able to adapt to it and know our responsibilities within it. Chaika made a couple big saves for us, but I thought we had some real big clears. We were strong on the puck getting pucks down the ice which alleviates a lot of pressure that way. Gives you a little breathing room when you can get pucks down the first time. Our guys did a real good job on that five minute penalty kill”

Portland outshot the Raiders 17-8 in the opening frame.

It took just 0:17 for the Portland Winterhawks to open the scoring in the second period. Josh Zakreski would pick up a loose puck on a rebound and shoot it past Raider goaltender Tikhon Chaika. Gabe Klassen and Marek Alscher would be credited with assists on the goal.

The Winterhawks would double their lead at 5:34 of the second period thanks to Prince Albert product and captain Gabe Klassen with his 21st goal of the season coming on the power play. James Stefan and Ryan McCleary getting credit for assists.

The Raiders would answer with Ryder Ritchie’s 11th goal of the season coming at 9:32 of the second period. Sloan Stanick would pick the lone assist on the goal.

Prince Albert would even up the score at the 11:50 mark of the second period. Seth Tansem would rip a point shot that was redirected by Cole Peardon in front for his 4th goal of the campaign. Tansem and Grady Martin would be credited with assists on the goal.

Portland would take the lead with a short handed goal 4:15 into the final frame. Kyle Chyzowski would redirect one through the legs of Tikhon Chaika to give the Winterhawks a 3-2 advantage. Marcus Nguyen would be credited with the lone assist

Carter Anderson would bring the Raiders even at the 11:16 mark. The 18-year-old forward would get a clean break in off the right wing and elevate a shot past Winterhawks goaltender Jan Spunar to even the score at 3-3. Evan Herman and Harrison Lodewyk would be credited with assists on the goal.

Anderson says he feels good about his personal game, but wants the team to succeed.

“It was good to tie the game there, but honestly we didn’t get the win. A few things we need to touch up on in practice and I think we’ll be good. I feel good, it’s obviously good to get that monkey off your back. Honestly, just staying with my game and the things I do best out there. That’s how I’m going to get rewarded.”

Keaton Sorenson would have a chance at the doorstep a few minutes later but Spunar would make his best save of the hockey game with his glove to keep the Raiders and Winterhawks deadlocked at 3.

The Winterhawks would get the go-ahead tally with 2:02 to go in the third period. After winning the faceoff, Robbie Fromm-Delorme would fire a wrist shot from the top of the right circle over the shoulder of Chaika to give Portland a 4-3 lead.

James Stefan would add an empty net tally to ice it for the Winterhawks with less than a second remaining.

Tikhon Chaika made 32 saves in net for Prince Albert while Jan Spunar made 21 saves for the Winterhawks

Prince Albert returns to action on Friday night when they welcome former captain Nolan Allan and the Seattle Thunderbirds to the Art Hauser Centre. Puck drops at 7pm.