A strong third period helped the Prince Albert Raiders salvage a single point with a 4-3 shootout loss in Wenatchee to end a season-long seven game road trip.
Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says it was a real character game for Prince Albert, despite coming up short on the scoreboard.
“Outside of the two goals in the first period, I thought that we carried the play. Second period looked like they were doing what they wanted to do. We suddenly turned fancy plays that turned pucks over and came the other way. The third period (we were) really bearing down. Lots of good determination for our guys, great character. We all came back to 3 -3 and it would have been nice to get one in overtime and shoot out but nine out of a possible 14 points in this real trip, which isn’t easy. These guys deserve a lot of credit.”
Jonas Woo, celebrating his 17th birthday, would open the scoring for the Wild with his second goal of the season at the 6:57 mark of the first period. Miles Cooper and Briley Wood provided assists.
Krzysztof Macias would pull the Raiders even at the 13:04 mark with his 11th goal of the season. Niall Crocker provided the lone helper.
A point shot from Chase Bambrick would beat Max Hildebrand glove side for his first of the campaign less than a minute to give the Wild a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes. Matthew Savoie and Conor Geekie assisted on the play.
Shots in the first period favored the Raiders 13-8.
Wenatchee would score the lone goal of the second period as a puck would rebound off the boards and onto the tape of Miles Cooper who scored his seventh goal of the season on the play. Ty Fraser and Evan Friesen assisted on the play.
The Raiders would forge the comeback trail in the third period to knot up the score at 3-3.
Truitt says the Raiders dug in throughout the third period.
“It was just the belief and the will of our guys. Nothing real fancy, They really got on their toes and won battles.You get pucks on the net and you come back from 3-1. It’s nothing magical, it’s just the built-in character these guys have.”
Eric Johnston would pull the Raiders within one with his first of the season at the 5:59 mark with his 1st goal of the season. Sloan Stanick assisted on the play.
The Raider captain would complete the comeback at the 11:56 mark with his second goal of the period. Brayden Dube and Harrison Lodewyk assisted on the play.
The remainder of the third period and overtime would solve nothing and the two teams would head to the shootout.
The first three Raider shooters would be denied by Gee and Max Hildebrand would stop the first two Wild shooters before Conor Geekie would score with a wrist shot low blocker side, giving Wenatchee the 4-3 shootout victory.
Max Hildebrand made 25 saves in goal for the Raiders, while Brendan Gee made 30 stops for Wenatchee
The Raiders finished the seven game road trip with a 4-2-0-1 record.
Truitt says he was proud of the way the team played throughout the trip.
“I think that we elevated our play. I think we elevated our character in the way that we needed to keep pushing forward here and I’m proud of these guys. Looking at what we represent, we represent our team and our city, but I think everybody would be proud of their effort and their commitment with what they’ve done on this trip.”
The Raiders will return home for the first time in three weeks when they take on the Moose Jaw Warriors on Saturday, Nov. 25. The Raiders will also be retiring Dan Hodgson’s number 16 prior to the game.