Raiders play from behind all night, drop 6-3 contest to Oil Kings

Landon Kosior scored the goal of the night for the Raiders in their 6-3 loss to the Oil Kings in Edmonton on Friday night. --Kyle Kosowan/Daily Herald

The Prince Albert Raiders travelled to Edmonton for a date with the Oil Kings, and dropped a 6-3 decision, despite attempting another late comeback.

Carter Serhyenko gave up five goals on 17 shots through forty minutes before he was replaced between the pipes by Tikhon Chaika on Friday, and head coach Marc Habscheid said their goaltending needs to be much better moving forward.

“We played great. We need a save. It’s pretty simple,” Habscheid said after the game. “We need consistency. It’s the most important position, and we need our goalies to play better.”

The Raiders came out flying in the first period, generating chance after chance with 14 shots in the opening frame, but Oil Kings goalie Sebastian Cossa stood his ground, turning aside all first period shots sent his way.

With 2:25 left in the first, things got heated at Rogers Place, and it fight broke out as a result. Sixteen-year-old Raider rookie Zachary Wilson squared up with 17-year-old Eric Johnston of the Oil Kings in a championship belt worthy bout. Wilson ended up getting the better of Johnston, landing a few rights at the end of the fight, and both players headed to the box for fighting.

Dallyn Peekeekoot served a roughing minor on the same play, and the Oil Kings set up in the Raider zone on the powerplay. Carter Souch sent a pass to Luke Prokop, who then dished the puck to Simon Kubicek, who beat Carter Serhyenko, putting the host Oil Kings up 1-0 with 1:06 left in the opening frame. The opening goal was like a broken record, as Kubicek previously scored on the powerplay to open the scoring when Edmonton paid a visit to Prince Albert on Nov. 10.

Edmonton finished the first period ahead 1-0, despite being outplayed by the Raiders for much of the first period, as well as being outshot 14-11 in the opening 20 minutes.

Souch picked up his second point of the night when he corralled a bouncing puck and fired in past Serhyenko 1:29 into the second. The refs took a quick peek at the replay to check for any goalie interference, but the goal stood, and the Oil Kings jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the second period.

Edmonton added to that lead just two minutes later on another powerplay, when Dylan Guenther sniped a shot from in close, making it a 3-0 Edmonton lead with 16:30 left in the second period. The ninth overall pick by the Arizona Coyotes in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft picked up his 10th goal this season.

With 12:30 to go in the second and the Raiders on the powerplay, Hayden Pakkala cut into the Oil Kings lead with his fourth goal of the season. His tally made it a 3-1 deficit, but that wouldn’t last long as Oil Kings winger Kobe Verbicky scored his second of the season, restoring Edmonton’s three goal lead, making it a 4-1 game.

Winger Jake Neighbours was in the lineup to face the Raiders for the first time this season after being sent back to the Oil Kings from the St. Louis Blue. He made his presence felt with 1:57 left in the second, ripping his first WHL goal of the season, giving the Oil Kings a 5-1 lead into the second intermission.

In the third, Landon Kosior led a rush down the ice, and caught the Oil Kings flat footed. Kosior kept the puck, split between Oil Kings defenders, and walked right into the zone before ripping a shot past Cossa, making it a 5-2 deficit.

Prince Albert continued to claw their way back into the game, as Reece Vitelli pulled the Raiders to within two, scoring his seventh goal of the year making it a 5-3 game.

With 3:21 left in the game, another fortunate Oil Kings bounce led to Edmonton putting this game out of reach for the Raiders, making it a final score of 6-3.

Sloan Stanick contributed in a quiet way for the Raiders on Friday night, and with 11 games under his belt as a Raider, Habscheid feels he is fitting right in.

“He’s still young. He’s working his way and it takes time, but he’s a great kid and he’s getting better.”

The Raiders suffered their 10th loss this season, falling to 6-10-0-1 on the year. They get right back at it on Saturday night in Red Deer against the Rebels.

Puck drop is at 8pm.