A strong start was all the Prince Albert Raiders needed as they defeated the Moose Jaw Warriors 2-1 at the Moose Jaw Events Centre on Tuesday night.
The Raiders scored once in the first, once in the second, and never trailed all game. Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says the team did what was needed to walk away with a road victory.
“We grinded it out. I thought that we earned it. We had some real great individual performances. I like the way our team played in the first period. We managed the puck well in tight situations. We expected a push in the second period, and they certainly gave it to us no doubt. I liked our composure and desperation at times. Lots of little things added up to victory, but the guys earned it because of their hard work.”
Prince Albert welcomed a couple familiar faces back into the lineup as Cole Peardon and Ryder Ritchie returned after spending time at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Truitt says it is key to have additional depth in the forward core.
“It means everything, you don’t have to have only two lines going all the time, you can have three. We had four going for the most part here tonight.”
The Raiders would open the scoring on the power play as Keaton Sorenson would snipe his ninth goal of the campaign home at the 8:05 mark of the first period. It appeared Erik Johnston had extended the lead for the Raiders late in the first period, but the goal was waved off after a challenge from the Moose Jaw bench. Prince Albert outshot Moose Jaw 13-3 in the opening period.
The hot start for Prince Albert would continue in the second period as Carson Latimer would double the Raider lead with his seventh goal of the campaign at the 5:14 mark.
However, Moose Jaw would answer back before the end of the second period as captain Denton Mateychuk would beat Raider netminder Max Hildebrand on the power play for his fourth of the season at the 17:33 mark to make it 2-1 Raiders after two periods of play.
The Raiders outshot the Warriors 10-6 in the second period.
Moose Jaw’s best chance to tie the game came with 3:07 to play in the third period after Sloan Stanick was sent off for high sticking. However, the Raider penalty kill held off the warriors, giving Prince Albert the win.
Max Hildebrand earned his second victory of the season in goal for Prince Albert turning aside 17 of 18 Warrior shots. Jackson Unger took the loss in net for Moose Jaw stopping 20 of 22 Raider shots.
“Lots of big saves, he came up with big saves in the third period when he was counted on,” Truitt says about his goaltender. “Both of our guys are really saving us at times, you are going to give up chances and that’s just the way hockey goes. Both guys have done a great job, Max was clutch tonight later in the third period when we had the penalty kill.”
With the win, the Raiders improve to 7-12-2 on the season. The Raiders are back in action Saturday when they host the Medicine Hat Tigers at the Art Hauser Centre. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.