Raiders salvage point, fall in overtime to Oil Kings

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Krzysztof Macias handles the puck during WHL action at the Art Hauser Centre on Saturday night.

The Prince Albert Raiders salvaged a point as they fell 3-2 in overtime to the Edmonton Oil Kings on Friday night at the Art Hauser Centre.

Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says there were some details Prince Albert wasn’t sharp at, which cost the game.

“We got the point. There’s no doubt about that. You’re down, you’re chasing it again, and we come back and tie it, which is good. We worked hard. We had some grade A opportunities that we didn’t finish on here tonight, but we had breakdowns where we got beat off the rush a couple of times. Our back checking wasn’t real good. We were lazy on that. This time of season, you cannot get away with a lack of details that led to their two goals. We’re taking penalties, key guys, at wrong times. When everything’s said and done, we don’t finish. They capitalize. Margin of error is thin, and we got the one.”

Florida Panthers prospect Gracyn Sawchyn would open the scoring with his 16th goal of the season at the 4:39 mark of the first period. Gavin Hodnett and Parker Alcos assisted on the play.

A turnover behind the net by Edmonton Oil Kings would lead to the Raiders pulling even at the 7:25 mark. Sloan Stanick would pick the pocket of an Oil King player and slide the puck five hole past Oil King netminder Kolby Hay for his 29th goal of the season, coming of the unassisted variety.

A breakdown in the neutral zone led to a two-on-one break for the Oil Kings and Landon Hanson would deliver his sixth goal of the season to give Edmonton a 2-1 edge at the 14:10 mark of the opening frame. Ty Nash had the helper on the play.

Shots favored Prince Albert 10-9 after one period of play.

Neither team would find the back of the net in the second period with the Raiders outshooting Edmonton 11-5 in the frame.

One area that Truitt wanted to see improvement from his club in was faceoffs in key situations.

“We had situations where they had an icing call and they had the third and fourth line out. We had our first or second line out and we don’t get much out of it. We lose a face off, I thought that was a real key thing here tonight. We didn’t have a lot of possession of face offs. We wound up chasing it a little bit, not possessing. it’s key things right now.”

It would take until the 11:14 mark of the third period for the Raiders to tie the game. A loose puck in the crease would just sneak over the line to pull Prince Albert even at 2-2. Niall Crocker would receive credit for his 21st goal of the season on the play with Jacob Hoffrogge and Krzysztof Macias receiving the helpers on the play.

A penalty against Justice Christensen early in overtime turned out to be critical as the Oil Kings would strike for the game winner on the man advantage. Gavin Hodnett would deposit his 19th goal of the season to secure a 3-2 win for the Oil Kings. Ty Nash and Gracyn Sawchyn provided the assists.

Kolby Hay stopped 28 of 30 Raiders shots for Edmonton, Max Hildebrand made 24 saves for the Raiders.

Around The WHL

The Raiders did pick up some help on the out of town scoreboard with the Red Deer Rebels holding on for a 4-3 regulation victory over the Calgary Hitmen at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Brandon also downed the Lethbridge Hurricanes by a 4-0 final score.

The Raiders return to action on Saturday night when they welcome Gavin McKenna and the Medicine Hat Tigers to the Art Hauser Centre. Puck drops at 7 p.m.