Raiders shutout by Swift Current in first leg of home-and-home weekend series

Photo by Nathan Reiter. Prince Albert Raiders goaltender Tikhon Chaika makes a stop during WHL action Saturday, Oct. 29 2022 at the Art Hauser Centre

The Prince Albert Raiders couldn’t secure any momentum as they fell 4-0 to the Swift Current Broncos in the first half of a home-and-home weekend series at the InnovationPlex on Friday night.

Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says that Prince Albert didn’t put together a complete effort in the contest.

“Not very well. Outshot badly and we don’t get any offensive support. Turnovers cost us and some penalties that we should not have taken. When you take a look at your guys who have to lead this team, you take a look at your older guys to set the tone and that didn’t happen here tonight.”

The lone goal of the first period would come at the 10:40 mark.

Anaheim Ducks prospect Connor Hvidston would find the back of the net for the 13th time this season to give the Broncos a 1-0 lead after twenty minutes. Sam McGinley and Grayson Burzynski

Swift Current also led the shots 11-5 after the first period.

The home side Broncos would add another two tallies to their lead in the second period.

Brady Birnie’s 12th goal of the season at the 8:04 mark doubled the Bronco lead to 2-0. Hvidston and Caleb Wyrostok assisted on the goal.

Just 44 seconds later, Pittsburgh Penguins 2022 first round draft pick Owen Pickering would pot his 7th goal of the campaign to give Swift Current a 3-0 lead after two periods of play. Birnie and Hvidston assisted on the play.

THe lone goal for either side in the third period would come off the tape of Mathew Ward at the 13:59 mark who would record his 20th goal of the season to put the game out of reach. Clarke Caswell and Hvidston would receive assists on the play.

The Raiders gave up a total of seven power plays to Swift Current, with the Broncos converting on one of seven chances.

Truitt says he wasn’t happy with some of the penalties the Raiders took in the loss.

“Some of the penalties we took here tonight should not have happened. This time of season, you have to be battle ready. You certainly can’t be taking penalties and putting yourself short handed an awful lot.”

The Raiders will get an opportunity to rebound against the same Swift Current opposition in the second leg of a home-and-home series Saturday night at the Art Hauser Centre.

Truitt says the Raiders are approaching the game with a playoff mentality with the race for an Eastern Conference playoff heating up and points coming at a premium.

“They know what’s at stake here. We’ve known this for quite a while. I thought tonight was one of those games you want to build momentum at. You want to close the gap on these teams. Every game from here on in is critical. We’ve been in playoff mode for a while. We can’t fall too far behind here. We’ve got to play playoff hockey right now, we have to be battle ready and mentally strong enough to take the bump and bruises at this stage of the season.”

Truitt’s response was very brief when asked about the team’s return to the Art Hauser Centre in three weeks.

“Can’t Wait.”

The Raiders return to action on Saturday night when they welcome the Swift Current Broncos to the Art Hauser Centre. Puck drops at 7 p.m.