Raiders drop Sunday game in Regina

Regina Pats goalie Tyler Brown keeps his eye on the puck during a WHL game in Regina against the Prince Albert Raiders Jan. 1, 2018. -- Keith Hershmiller Photography/Regina Pats

The Prince Albert Raiders dropped their final game of a three-contest weekend on Sunday afternoon, losing 4-1 to the Regina Pats on the road in Western Hockey League action.

Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said it was a game that’s best forgotten.

“It was just one of those games that you burn the tape after, because it was not picturesque for sure,” he said.

Sunday was the fourth time the teams met this season; Regina held the edge three game to none, winning most recently last Monday 5-4 in overtime. In that loss, the Raiders had a 3-1 lead by the start of the third period, but the Pats managed to force overtime and emerge with the win.

This time at the Brandt Centre, the Raiders never held a lead.

The Pats went up 1-0 early in the first period on a Robbie Holmes goal at 0:37; they held that score through to the early stages of the third period, during which they scored three consecutive goals to go up 4-0.

The Raiders managed six, 11 and 12 shots on goal, respectively, through three periods, but nothing was going their way, according to Habscheid.

“We just really didn’t have anything all game; nothing was going on,” he said.

“We just were late with pucks, we couldn’t complete a pass, couldn’t make a pass – we just had nothing going on; not a lot of energy.”

In an effort to create a spark for the Raiders, Habscheid pulled goalie Ian Scott with six minutes to go in the game and his team down 3-0.

“We hadn’t scored until then; what have we got to lose? We have to score three goals,” he said of the move. “We’re trying to win a hockey game, not trying to get close.”

It didn’t work. The Pats’ Jake Leschyshyn scored his team’s fourth goal on the empty net at 13:32.

Raiders forward Parker Kelly did manage to give his team some life. He scored at 17:08 on the powerplay. But that was the only offensive success his team could muster.

Prince Albert’s bench boss did compliment third line centreman Carson Miller. “He competed and he tried to ignite the guys.

“But really it was unanimous from top to bottom, we just really didn’t have much today.”

The Raiders (15-18-6-2) are now off for the next four days. They next play at home on Friday, Jan. 12 against the Swift Current Broncos (29-10-3-0). Game time is 7 p.m.

The P.A. club also had a busy weekend with roster moves.

In compliance with league rules that allow for only three healthy (non-injured) 20-year-old skaters, the Raiders cut centreman Devon Skoleski. The team’s acquisition of fellow 20-year-old forward Regan Nagy in a trade with Victoria made Skoleski the odd man out.

The Raiders three 20-year-old skaters are now Nagy, Curtis Miske and Jordy Stallard.

Skoleski played in 38 games with the Raiders this year, tallying 17 points on eight goals and nine assists.

Meanwhile on Saturday morning, the Raiders announced a multi-player trade with the Prince George Cougars.

The P.A. club acquired 19-year-old centreman Kody McDonald from the Cougars and a conditional third or fourth-round pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft. The Raiders sent defencemen Rhett Rhinehart and Austin Crossley to Prince George, along with the team’s first-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

The club still owns the Cougars’ first-round pick in this year’s WHL Bantam Draft.