Raiders survive late Pat surge to capture second victory of season

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Prince Albert Raiders forward Sloan Stanick handles the puck during WHL action at the Art Hauser Centre earlier this season

It wasn’t the prettiest game that the Prince Albert Raiders or Regina Pats will play this season, but the Raiders took home two points with a 4-3 on Friday night at the Art Hauser Centre.

Regina would run into penalty trouble early in the first period as Ty Plaisier would be sent off for high sticking just 3:03 in. A mere two seconds after the Pats killed off the minor, the Raiders would go back to the power play as Brayden Barnett would be sent off for boarding.

Prince Albert was able to convert on their second man advantage as Ryder Ritchie would strike for his second of the season at the 5:41 mark. Aiden Oiring and Niall Crocker provided the helpers on the play.

“We needed it.” Truitt said about the Raider special teams during his post-game media availability. “They got to be the difference. Our power play got going which gave us the edge early on. Our penalty kill, we got some big saves, Coward on the back door shot by Howe on their power play. That was huge. To get two (goals) here, thank goodness since we only won by one.”

Regina would even up the score courtesy of Corbin Vaughan’s first WHL goal coming on a wraparound at the 12:55 mark. The goal was unassisted.

The Raiders would get a 4-on-3 opportunity later in the frame and Niall Crocker would be struck in the body by a Justice Christensen shot, but the the puck would fall near his feet and the six-foot-four power forward would collect the puck and put it past Ewan Huet to give the Raiders the lead at the 18:41 mark of the first period. Sloan Stanick also picked up a helper on the play.

Shots favored the Raiders 13-7 after twenty minutes 

The lone goal in the second period would double the lead for the Prince Albert Raiders. Brayden Dube would find twine with a wrist shot through traffic for his first goal of the season at the 12:09 mark. The tally was unassisted.

An early trend with the Prince Albert Raiders so far this season has been strong third periods. That would continue Friday as the Raiders would pepper Ewan Huet and outshot Regina 

Sloan Stanick would provide his first goal of the season at the 11:04 of the third period after being fed by Ryder Ritchie on a 2-on-1 break. Justice Christensen would provide the other assist on the play.

Cole Temple would bring the Pats within two with his second goal of the campaign at the 17:11 mark of the third period.. Sam Oremba and Jaxsin Vaughan would assist on the play. 

Just a minute later, Prince Albert’s Tanner Howe would bring the Pats within single goal with his second of the year. Tye Spencer and Layton Feist would draw assists on the play.

The game would come down to the wire as Brayden Barnett would be sprung on a breakaway in the dying seconds, but he could not solve Chase Coward to maintain the slim one goal lead and game for Prince Albert. 

Coward said he didn’t have too much time to think on the Barnett breakaway.

“When I play, I just play. I don’t really think too much. It’s part of the game, you got to come up with key saves at key times. I feel like I did that tonight.”

Truitt said Coward stepped up in big spots for the Raiders throughout the night.

“Coward comes up with a big save in a situation that should’ve never happened off of an offensive zone faceoff and they split us for a breakaway. We got to take another step up and not give up those types of situations but Coward saved the day for us in the end.”

It was the first win for Coward in a Raider uniform after being acquired in an offseason trade with the Red Deer Rebels. 

“It’s amazing, to do it in front of a pretty full Art Hauser is pretty special.” Coward said. “I got to give credit to the boys coming up with some huge blocks and huge kills for me. It’s not just my win, but it’s the teams win.”

The Raiders return to action on Tuesday night when they welcome the Edmonton Oil Kings to the Art Hauser Centre. Puck drops at 7 p.m.

Around The WHL

Connor Hvidston scored twice as the Swift Current Broncos picked up their first win of the season over the Calgary Hitmen 3-0.

Cayden Lindstrom scored twice as the Medicine Hat Tigers stayed perfect with a 4-2 win over the Red Deer Rebels.

Terik Parascak recorded a hat trick as the Prince George Cougars took down the Victoria Royals 11-2. Prince Albert’s Jayden Kraus had 15 saves in relief of Braden Holt.