The Prince Albert Raiders picked up their ninth victory of the season, downing the Regina Pats 4-1 at the Brandt Centre on Wednesday night.
Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says the transition game was very solid for Prince Albert early on.
“I liked the way that we broke out the puck in the first period. I thought that we made simple plays, whether that was D to D or up the wall. Some real simple plays that just really gave us some time and space to move the puck on. We broke that puck out real well in the first period and gave us momentum, gave us confidence in our own zone about being able to get out of our zone.”
The Raiders would break the seal on the scoring at the 18:21 mark of the first period. On a 3-on-2 break, Sloan Stanick would wire a wrist shot past the glove of Kelton Pyne for his fifth goal of the season. Krzysztof Macias and Harrison Lodewyk assisted on the play.
Prince Albert would double their lead thanks to Cole Peardon’s third goal of the season at the 10:18 mark of the second period. Hayden Pakkala and Easton Kovacs assisted on the play.
Corbin Vaughan would cut the Raider lead in half 2:39 into the third period with his third goal of the campaign. Parker Berge and Tye Spencer assisted on the play.
It appeared that the Pats had tied the game on the power play at the 8:54 mark of the third period in a mad scramble in front of Chase Coward, but the play would go to review and it would be ruled as a no goal.
Truitt says the play was already blown dead when the puck had crossed the goal line.
“The whistle had blown and I couldn’t really see where the puck was from the bench. I heard the whistle and then I kind of heard the crowd react, but then he waved it off right away.They came over and just said the whistle had gone. That was a big turning point as well. We got a couple of breaks in that third period.”
The Raiders would take advantage of a timely power play late in the third period. After a double minor against Regina’s Borya Valis, Niall Crocker would bang home a rebound for his sixth goal of the season at the 15:02 mark of the third period. Ryder Ritchie and Jacob Hoffrogge assisted on the play.
Truitt says the Crocker tally was vital for the Raiders.
“It was huge because if we don’t get that, it’s 2-1. They are now 5-on-5 and now their push really comes with a potential pulled goaltender. That gave us some breathing space for sure. It was real important.”
Less than a minute later, Chase Coward would keep the two goal Raider lead intact as the 20-year-old would make a big stop off a Keagan Slaney one-time attempt.
Krzysztof Macias would ice the game for Prince Albert with his eighth goal of the season at the 18:05 mark on the empty net. Sloan Stanick had the lone assist on the play.
Chase Coward made 22 saves in net for the Raiders in the win.
Truitt says Coward stood tall when the Raiders needed him to.
“You expect that from a 20 year old goaltender. When the pressure’s on and you know that the push is happening, you need him to be a wall. He did a tremendous job when traffic was right on him.”
The Raiders return to action on Thursday night when they take on the Saskatoon Blades at the Art Hauser Centre. Puck drops at 7 p.m.