Raiders to face Rebels in first round

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Post-whistle scrums such as this one were common place at the Art Hauser Centre when the Prince Albert Raiders and the Red Deer Rebels squared off in October.

The Prince Albert Raiders now know their opponent when they start their Eastern Conference quarter-final series at the Art Hauser Centre next Friday night.

With the Brandon Wheat Kings dropping a 5-4 road contest to the Regina Pats Friday, the Red Deer Rebels grabbed the second and final wild card spot and will cross over to face the East Division champions in a best-of-seven affair.

The Raiders held a 3-1 advantage in the season series, which saw every game decided by a goal.

This marks the second time that the two sides have squared off in a playoff series, as the Rebels swept the Raiders in a first round matchup in 2013.

They also went up against each other in a tiebreaker game in Red Deer a year later, which the Raiders won 5-3.

Tickets are now avaliable for the first two games of the series, which will be held on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.

Blades 3 Raiders 2

In their final road contest of the regular season, the Raiders saw a three-game win streak come to an end Friday as they fell 3-2 to the Saskatoon Blades at the SaskTel Centre.

The 45-14-8-0 Blades, who have won eight straight games, had a goal and an assist each in the triumph from Ryan Hughes and Max Gerlach.

Kirby Dach had a pair of assists for the hosts, who also got a goal from Brandon Schuldhaus and a 28-save showing from Nolan Maier.

Parker Kelly led the way for the visitors with a goal and an assist, while Noah Gregor scored his 41st marker of the campaign.

Ian Scott, who saw his shutout streak end after 185 minutes on Schuldhaus’ goal, made 29 saves.

The two sides will conclude their regular season schedule Saturday in a 7 p.m. matchup at the Art Hauser Centre.

Friday’s Scores

  • Regina 5 Brandon 4 (Sergei Alkhimov – Two Goals)
  • Prince George 5 Kamloops 4 (Vladislav Mikhalchuk Overtime Winner – Two Goals and Two Assists)
  • Lethbridge 4 Red Deer 3 (Jake Leschyshyn – Three Goals – Second Hat Trick This Season and Third Career – Reese Johnson – Three Goals – Third Hat Trick This Season – Red Deer clinches fifth straight playoff berth)
  • Moose Jaw 6 Swift Current 1 (Justin Almeida – Two Goals and Two Assists)
  • Medicine Hat 5 Kootenay 2 (Ryan Jevne – One Goal and Two Assists)
  • Victoria 3 Everett 2 (Igor Martynov Shootout Winner – Brandon Cutler – Two Goals – Everett to play Tri-City in the first round)
  • Spokane 5 Tri-City 3 (Jake McGrew – Three Goals – Second Hat Trick This Season and Third Career)
  • Vancouver 2 Kelowna 1 (Roman Basran – 29 Saves – Vancouver clinches home ice through the Western Conference final and will play Seattle in the first round)

Wednesday’s Scores

  • Swift Current 2 Regina 0 (Isaac Poulter – 33 Saves – First Career Shutout)
  • Medicine Hat 7 Red Deer 4 (Brett Kemp – Three Goals and One Assist – First Career Hat Trick – Medicine Hat clinches third straight playoff berth)
  • Kamloops 8 Victoria 0 (Brodi Stuart – One Goal and Four Assists – Dylan Garand – 22 Saves – First Career Shutout)
  • Moose Jaw 6 Brandon 2 (Tristin Langan – One Goal and Two Assists)
  • Seattle 6 Tri-City 5 (Owen Williams Overtime Winner – Henrik Rybinski – Five Assists – Nolan Volcan – Three Goals – Second Hat Trick This Season and Third Career – Seattle clinches seventh straight playoff berth)
  • Spokane 6 Kelowna 5 (Jaret Anderson-Dolan Overtime Winner – Nolan Foote – Two Goals and Two Assists)

Tuesday’s Scores

  • Kamloops 5 Spokane 1 (Orrin Centazzo – Two Goals and One Assist)
  • Portland 4 Everett 1 (Joachim Blichfeld – Two Assists)
  • Edmonton 3 Red Deer 2 (Matthew Robertson – Two Assists)
  • Vancouver 5 Seattle 1 (Davis Koch – Three Assists)

Around the WHL

As was first reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie on Thursday night, Lethbridge Hurricanes overage forward Jake Elmer has signed a NHL entry-level contract with the New York Rangers.

The 20-year-old is having a career campaign in his fourth WHL season, as he’s scored 38 goals and dished out 41 assists in 67 games.

Meanwhile, Edmonton Oil Kings Trey Fix-Wolansky signed a pro contract on Friday with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who drafted him in the seventh round of last year’s NHL Draft.

A one-time listed prospect by the Raiders, the 19-year-old has 37 goals and 64 assists in 63 games this year.

Saturday’s Schedule

  • Calgary vs. Edmonton – 2 p.m.
  • Regina vs. Brandon – 6:30 p.m.
  • Swift Current vs. Moose Jaw – 7 p.m.
  • Saskatoon vs. Prince Albert – 7 p.m.
  • Portland vs. Seattle – 7 p.m.
  • Lethbridge vs. Medicine Hat – 7:30 p.m.
  • Kamloops vs. Prince George – 8 p.m.
  • Vancouver vs. Kelowna – 8 p.m.
  • Tri-City vs. Spokane – 8 p.m.
  • Victoria vs. Everett – 8 p.m.

Sunday’s Schedule

  • Edmonton vs. Calgary – 2 p.m.
  • Red Deer vs. Kootenay – 4 p.m.
  • Seattle vs. Portland – 6 p.m.