Raiders fall in Regina

Herald file photo.

The Prince Albert Raiders couldn’t pick up two points on the road as they fell 5-2 to the Regina Pats at the Brandt Centre on Friday night.

Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says Regina did a good job at making things difficult for Prince Albert.

“We could have had a lot more, they blocked (about 30 shots. We didn’t get a lot of shots through, 33 on the board. We could have had 50-55, but we continuously get shots blocked, which means we don’t get a lot of quality second chances at the net. We didn’t score in a couple of rushes. We’re not capitalizing on the things that we should, everything seems to be rather hard goals to get. When we get opportunities, we have to make sure that we bare down.”

The Pats would break the seal at the 10:13 mark of the first period as Tye Spencer would rifle home his 23rd goal of the season on an odd man rush. The goal was unassisted.

Just over a minute later, Turner McMillen would strike for his ninth goal of the season to knot up the score after twenty minutes of play. Ryder Ritchie and Justice Christensen would get the helpers.

Shots would favor the Raiders 14-4 after the first period.

Anthony Wilson would give the Pats the lead at the 9:22 mark of the middle frame with his eighth goal of the season. Braxton Whitehead and Tanner Howe picked up the helpers.

Jaxsin Vaughan’s 15th goal of the season at the 11:14 would give the Pats a two goal lead heading into the second intermission. Corban Almen and Cole Templer picked up the helpers.

Regina Pat captain and former Prince Albert Minto Tanner Howe would give the home side a 4-1 cushion just ten seconds into the third period. Wilson and Keagan Slaney assisted on the tally.

The sparks of a Raider comeback would begin to form at the 15:14 mark as a Justice Christensen point shot would beat Pats netminder Kelton Pyne for his 11th goal of the season on the power play. Aiden Oiring and Ryder Ritchie picked up the helpers.

Prince Albert finished the evening one for five on the man advantage. Truitt says he wants to see movement from the Raiders on the power play.

“I didn’t think we moved the puck fast enough to get ourselves in clear shooting lanes. We get it and then we hang on to it a little bit too long and then coverage came in and they block shots. We got to speed things up a little bit. We’re at our best when we move the pucks quick and we’re shooting fast. I thought that we were pretty slow here tonight.”

With the net empty, a tough bounce would lead to the puck hopping over Ritchie’s stick and allowing Braxton Whitehead to ice the game for the Pats with an empty net tally with less then two minutes to go.

Kelton Pyne made 32 saves for the Pats on the night, Max Hildebrand made 14 stops for Prince Albert.

The Raider road trip makes one final stop for a critical matchup with the Wheat Kings.

Truitt says Prince Albert needs to play at a playoff effort level to capture the two points in Manitoba

“It has to be full bore. If we want to catch these guys (Brandon) at all we have to have this one tomorrow and it’s got to be maximum effort hidden. Calgary loses which is one thing but you know we’d like to we’d like to obviously close the gap and improve our standings as well so nothing less than a maximum effort is going to do tomorrow”

The Raiders return to action on Saturday night when they take on the Brandon Wheat Kings at Westoba Place. Puck drops at 6 p.m. Saskatchewan time.