The Prince Albert Raiders bounced back from a 4-1 loss to the Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday with a nail biting 3-2 shootout win over the Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday.
This marks the first time the Raiders have played a team outside of the East Division since March 3rd, 2020 (Calgary). For coach Marc Habscheid, it was important to leave the Art Hauser Centre with both points.
“We needed the win,” Habscheid said. “It would’ve been tough to go 0-2 at home. The kids found a way to win, so it was positive that way. Now we go on the road for two.
“It was nice to get the two (points) in the win column. We still have lots of work to do, but a win always makes things a little better.”
The Tigers opened the scoring just a minute and a half into the game, when Oren Shtrom scored on a cross crease play in front of Carter Seryhenko, beating him on the blocker side for his first goal of the 2021-22 season. The Raiders would bounce back from the early deficit, edging the Tigers in shots 12-11 after the opening frame.
Prince Albert would find their first goal of the game with five minutes left in the second period on the powerplay. Cale Sanders deflected Remy Aquilon’s point shot past Tigers keeper Beckett Langkow to tie the game 1-1. That was not only the first goal of the season for Sanders, but his first career Western Hockey League goal.
The Claresholm, Alberta native is entering his second full WHL season, after playing 34 games with the Regina Pats last year, as well as three games with the Pats the year before. He was excited after the game to tally his first goal in the Dub.
“It took long enough, that’s for sure,” Sanders said jokingly after the game.
Sanders said he was pleased with how his team responded after giving up the early goal.
“We had a good bounce back. All the guys were loud on the bench, which helped after that. Last night we didn’t win as many battles and tonight I thought we won a lot more and we were a lot harder on the puck,” he said.
The Raiders extended their lead just two and a half minutes later when Ozzy Wiesblatt buried a rebound off a Reece Vitelli shot to make it a 2-1 game. Wiesblatt picked up his fourth goal of the year, and sixth point in as many games.
Prince Albert would give up a goal four minutes into period number three, as Noah Danielson got loose on a breakaway and beat Serhyenko with a shot high over the blocker, tying the game at 2-2.
The game would remain tied heading into overtime. The Raiders had three good chances to win it in their first overtime game of the year, but failed to capitalize, sending the game to a shootout.
Kaiden Guhle and Reece Vitelli both scored in the shootout, while Carter Serhyenko stopped Oren Shtrom and Lukas Svejkovsky to secure the win.
The Raiders will now head on the road for a pair of games in Alberta, starting Friday with a rematch against the Tigers. Then they’ll head to Lethbridge on Saturday for a date with the Hurricanes.
Puck drop for Friday’s game in Medicine Hat is at 7pm.