Raiders fall 6-1 to Winnipeg to close out Manitoba road trip

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Prince Albert Raider forward Keaton Sorenson skates towards a puck during WHL action at the Art Hauser Centre

The Prince Albert Raiders couldn’t overcome the Winnipeg ICE for the second consecutive day falling 6-1 to the top team in the Eastern Conference.

Raider head coach Jeff Truitt was pleased with what he saw from his club in the first period. 

“In the first, we were in it and we had some sustained pressure. I thought we were moving pucks well and supporting the puck which led to good things for us. We weren’t defending an awful lot or as much as yesterday. That first period we were right on cue. We were just waiting for that first offensive opportunity to go beyond that.”

Winnipeg would have the lone goal of the first period as Nashville Predators prospect Graham Sward would strike with his fourth goal of the season. Owen Pederson had the lone assist.

THe Raiders and ICE both had 11 shots on goal in the first period.

The Raiders would pull even 3:30 into the second period as Carter Anderson would strike for his third goal in the last three games with his 14th goal of the season to tie the score at 1-1. Seth Tansem and Brayden Dube assisted on the play.

Owen Pederson would strike to give the ICE the lead at the 11:32 mark of the middle frame. His 31st of the season would come unassisted on a sharp angle backhand shot that would sneak through Max Hildebrand to give Winnipeg a 2-1 lead.

Tempers would flare between the two teams after Terrell Goldsmith would lay a hit on Connor McClennon that would result in the Raider defenseman given a game misconduct and a five minute major.

Carter Anderson would also be given a 10 minute misconduct in the period after being called for a holding minor.

Truitt says the penalties tested an already thin Raider depth chart.

“Nobody wants to take a five minute major check from behind or anything like that. When you are short handed with injuries, and then you take yourself out of it with some of those [penalties], it just thins out your roster, it thins everything out and makes it harder on everybody.So, even with a reduced roster we are taking a lot of penalties. It just robs you more of key contributors on your team.”

At the 13:59 mark, Pederson would strike with his 32nd of the year on the power play to double the Winnipeg lead at 3-1. Ben Zloty and Matthew Savoie assisted on the play.

Winnipeg outshot the Raiders 24-10 in the second period.

LEading 3-1 after forty minutes, Winnipeg would add another trio of goals in the final frame.

Ottawa Senators prospect Zack Ostapchuk would strike just 6:01 into the period with his 28th goal of the season. Jonas Woo had the lone assist.

At the 8:43 mark, Ben Zloty would add his 12th goal of the season to make it 5-1 Winnipeg. Matthew Savoie had his second point of the contest with an assist on the play.

Ostapchuk would strike again with his 29th of the season at the 11:20 mark. Graham Sward had the lone assist on the play.

Although the Raiders were outscored a total of 10-2 in the two games against the ICE this weekend, Truitt says Prince Albert had some positives to take away from the trip.

“Last night, we battled hard between the whistles. Tonight, we had to battle a good team that was battling back with the penalties and the emotions got going. You’re happy with the compete, but when you start taking undisciplined penalties it hurts you. We showed up and pushed back not only on the effort part but the physical end of things, we stood up for each other and that’s what a team does.”

With the Raiders now out of playoff contention with two games remaining, there is now a end date in sight for the WHL careers of Evan Herman, Keaton Sorenson and Landon Kosior, the three 20-year-olds on the roster for Prince Albert

Truitt says he wants the trio to make the most of their time left in the WHL.

 “I just want them to enjoy their time. It’s never easy when things are coming to an end. It gets emotional because you’ve put in a lot of miles and a lot of work throughout your career. I just want them to enjoy their last couple games as a Raider.”

The Raiders return to action on Friday night when the Moose Jaw Warriors visit the Art Hauser Centre for the final Raider home game of the season. Puck drops at 7 p.m.