For the final time in the 2022-2023 season, the Prince Albert Raiders took home ice at the Art Hauser Centre Friday. The Raiders would give the fans a night to remember, but couldn’t come away with a victory in a 5-3 loss to the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says the strong fan support from the crowd of 2,788 in attendance at the Art Hauser was meaningful for the team.
“It means an awful lot to the players to come out in their last game at home. The way they have supported us has just been tremendous. It means a lot to everyone in the organization, hopefully they have seen the improvement. We’re proud of our guys. We got one more to go. Even though it was the last one at the Art Hauser, I thought we put up a pretty good battle.”
Ben Riche would get the Warriors on the board first 10:17 into the first period with his eighth goal of the season. MArtin Rysavy and Matthew Gallant picked up assists on the play.
Moose Jaw would add a pair in the second period. Seattle Kraken prospect Jagger Firkus would strike for his 39th goal of the season at the 7:45 mark. Denton Mateychuk would have the lone assist on the play.
At the 9:18 mark, Logan Dowhaniuk would extend the Warrior lead to 3-0 with his fifth goal of the season. Firkus and Ryder Korczak assisted on the play.
But the Raiders would respond on the power play courtesy of Sloan Stanick’s 27th marker of the season. Landon Kosior would fire a point shot and Stanick would tip the puck past Warrior backstop Jackson Unger to cut the deficit to 3-1 at the 11:50.
Shots were even after two periods at 22 a side.
Throughout the night, the Raiders would have quality opportunities but couldn’t get a shot away on the Moose Jaw goal
Truitt says the Raiders can’t be too selective when they get opportunities.
“We had some really good looks and we hit the glass an awful lot. There’s a lot of times when you try to get a little bit too fine, but you just got to hit nets.”
2:46 into the third period, a penalty shot would be awarded to Moose JAw’s Riley Navin who was taken down on a breakaway attempt. Max Hildebrand would stand tall in goal for Prince Albert, turning aside Niven on the penalty shot with the blocker.
After Warrior captain Denton Mateychuk would be sent off for a hooking minor, the Raider power play unit would go to work to cut the deficit to just one. Niall Crocker would tip home his 17th goal of the season at the 11:38 mark of the period. Ritchie and Oiring had assists on the play.
Another Warrior penalty would prove to be costly as Ryder Korczak would be sent off for roughing after a late check to Landon Kosior after an icing call.
As the power play expired, Sloan Stanick would strike for his second goal of the contest after a redirect on a Kosior point shot through Unger to even up the score at 3-3 at the 15:43 mark. Eric Johnston also picked up an assist on the play.
The Raiders have had a knack for being a tough team to put away in the third period all season long.
Stanick says the reasoning is the desire to win in the locker room.
“I think we want to win so bad, we have guys in there that pull together and want to find a way. We tie things up 3-3 and they get a lucky bounce there to make it 4-3. It’s upsetting for all of us, especially our 20-year-olds. We all wanted to play for them tonight and each other. We definitely wanted that win.”
But Moose Jaw would answer right back at the 16:27 mark as Ryder Korczak’s 28th of the season restore the Warrior lead at 4-3. The lone assist would be credited to Atley Calvert.
Moose Jaw would ice it with a late goal from Jagger Firkus at the 17:42 mark. Assists were credited to Mateychuk and Calvert.
Max Hildebrand made 19 saves in net for Prince Albert while Jackson Unger made 29 stops for Moose Jaw.
The Final Chapter at the Art Hauser
As the final home game of the season for the Raiders, it marked the last time that the 20-year-old trifecta of Landon Kosior, Keaton Sorenson and Evan Herman would don the Prince Albert sweater at the Art Hauser Centre.
It was no surprise to anyone in attendance when the trio were named the three stars of the hockey game, even with Keaton Sorenson being scratched after suffering an injury last weekend in Brandon.
Truitt says the trio deserve all the recognition for what they contributed to the Prince Albert Raiders.
“I’m proud of them. The way they’ve carried themselves and our jerseys, they deserve this. They deserve the accolades, they deserve the fans, they deserve the guys lined up for them for the three stars.”
When Sloan Stanick first joined the Raiders last season, he quickly bonded with the trio of Herman, Sorensen and Kosior.
He says the trio were some of the first teammates he gravitated to when he joined Prince Albert
“They’ve been my best friends since I got traded here last year. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but we’re best friends and we are going to keep in contact no matter what. I know they are going to do amazing things in life and I’m excited to see what they have in store. They’ve been even better friends than players and it’s something I’ll cherish forever.”