Raiders drop overtime decision to Ice

Photo by Keith Hershmiller/WHL Winnipeg Ice forward Connor McClennon beats Prince Albert Raiders goaltender Carter Serhyenko in overtime to give his team a 3-2 win in Regina on Sunday afternoon.

Two of the top teams in the WHL’s East Division one year ago had another close contest at the East Division hub at the Brandt Centre in Regina on Sunday afternoon.

Winnipeg Ice forward Connor McClennon was the difference-maker in the affair as he wired a shot past Prince Albert Raiders netminder Carter Serhyenko just 35 seconds into overtime as the Ice picked up a 3-2 overtime triumph.

“It’s a tough one for sure,” Raiders forward Evan Herman said after the game. “We’re building every day and we’re still looking to get better, and I believe we have better in our room here.

“Sometimes it just doesn’t go your way like it did tonight. We just need a little bit more effort, especially offensively.”

The loss, which was the second in a row for the Raiders and dropped their record to 2-1-1-1, spoiled an excellent outing from Serhyenko as he made 32 saves and was named the game’s first star.

“You need those strong outings from your goalies and both of them (Serhyenko and Max Paddock) have played well,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said. “In the second period the ice was tilted in their favour and Carter played good to keep us in it.

“I think the five-on-three power plays in that period were a momentum changer for sure. We never even came close to generating opportunities and they were able to score on their five-on-three. Other than that though, I thought we played good throughout the whole game.”

Herman led the way on offence with a goal and an assist, while rookie blueliner Adam McNutt lit the lamp in the third period for the first marker of his WHL career.

“I came off of the bench and saw Evan coming off of the wall with the puck,” McNutt said. “I called for it, stepped into it hard and I hit the back of the net.

“It felt good to get that first goal out of the way and get the boys the 2-1 lead there. It would have been better if we had won the game, but it still means a lot to get that goal.”

McClennon had a goal and an assist for the 4-1 Ice, who have won four straight games and are tied for second place in the East Division with the Moose Jaw Warriors.

“I think we’re all just buying into our systems right now,” McClennon said to Ice announcer Mitch Peacock after the game. “Our coaches are getting us prepared and we’re doing whatever we have to do to get the win right now.”

Cole Muir and Benjamin Zloty also scored in the triumph, which saw Gage Alexander make 20 saves.

The Raiders will be back in action Monday at 4 p.m. against the Swift Current Broncos, who are at the bottom of the Regina hub standings with an 0-5 mark.

“We just need to show up and be ready to play,” Herman said. “If we buy into our systems and trust the process, we’ll have a better outcome.”

Post-Game Notes

In addition to fighting off shots from the Ice, Serhyenko also had to deal with the net coming off its moorings on multiple occasions during Sunday’s contest, which is an issue that many netminders have dealt with at the Brandt Centre since the season began.

Both clubs joined other teams in the WHL by donning mismatched socks for Sunday’s game in honour of World Down Syndrome Day.

Kaiden Guhle and Tyson Laventure did not dress for the Raiders on Sunday, while the Ice were without the services of Michael Milne, Carson Lambos, Anderson MacDonald, Brandt Young, Evan Waldie and Daniel Hauser.

Saturday’s Scores

  • Moose Jaw 5 Swift Current 1 (Daemon Hunt – Two Goals and Two Assists)
  • Edmonton 3 Red Deer 1 (Sebastian Cossa – 26 Saves)
  • Portland 4 Seattle 1 (Reece Newkirk – One Goal and One Assist)
  • Calgary 4 Lethbridge 3 (Tyson Galloway Overtime Winner – Two Goals and One Assist)
  • Everett 2 Spokane 0 (Dustin Wolf – 22 Saves – 21st Career Shutout)
  • Brandon 3 Regina 2 (Nolan Ritchie Overtime Winner – One Goal and One Assist)

Sunday’s Schedule

  • Everett 7 Tri-City 0 (Ethan Regnier – Two Goals and One Assist – Dustin Wolf – 18 Saves – Second Shutout This Season and 22nd Career)
  • Calgary 7 Lethbridge 4 (Adam Kydd – Two Goals)
  • Edmonton 5 Red Deer 2 (Scott Atkinson – One Goal and One Assist)
  • Portland 4 Spokane 3 (Gabe Klassen – One Goal and One Assist)
  • Saskatoon 3 Moose Jaw 1 (Evan Patrician – Two Goals)

Pre-Game Notes

The Raiders won all four meetings with their provincial rivals last year and are currently on a 10-game win streak against the Broncos, with their last loss coming in a 3-2 shootout affair on Dec. 4, 2018 in Swift Current.

The Broncos are mired in a 23-game losing skid that dates back to Jan. 25, 2020, when they doubled up the Moose Jaw Warriors in a 6-3 road contest.

If Swift Current loses on Monday, they will tie the 1983-84 Winnipeg Warriors for the longest losing streak in WHL history, which lasted from Feb. 5 to March 21.

Former Raider Cole Nagy leads the Broncos in scoring with four points in five games, while Cohner Saleski, a first round pick by Prince Albert in 2017, has a goal in three contests.

Prince Albert’s Alex Moar has three points in four games to lead the team in defensive scoring.

Monday’s Schedule

  • Swift Current vs. Prince Albert – 4 p.m.
  • Saskatoon vs. Brandon – 8 p.m.