Rooks shine in shootout loss

© Dustin Saracini/Daily Herald Spencer Moe scored his second and third goal in Moose Jaw tonight

Prince Albert takes Moose Jaw to the brink, earn a point for their effort

There was no shortage of offence tonight. When all looked bleak, the Prince Albert Raiders’ attack battled back from a two-goal deficit to earn one point in hostile territory. Spencer Moe was incredible through 60 minutes, tallying his first multi-goal game of his WHL career while scoring his second and third of the weekend — sending the tilt to a shootout. Jayden Halbgewachs continued to be a thorn in the side of the Raiders, shelving the 5-4 winner on the breakaway challenge.

Following the loss, head coach Marc Habscheid discussed the difference between tonight and Friday, but was clear that his club is here to win games.

“We thought we played tighter, we took guys better off the rush and limited their chances,” he said.

“Guys aren’t happy, we are here to win. But, you know, we are taking the right steps and our young guys are getting better. We still strive to win everyday. We didn’t tonight so we’re disappointed.”

The young guns for the Raiders only built on their tremendous showing from a night ago. Moe’s speed was on display as he and Cole Fonstad busted through the neutral zone and into Warriors territory. Moe sent a saucer to Fonstad before number 24 fired a backhand shot towards the net. Zach Sawchenko couldn’t handle the rebound and a trailing Carson Miller picked up the garbage for his first goal of the season.

It didn’t take long for the Warriors to knot things in the opening frame. A great cycle inside the offensive zone led to an absolute blast of a one-timer from Josh Thrower. Halbgewachs teed him up to extend his point streak to eight games. After tonight, Halbgewachs has 20 points over that span while combining for ten against the Raiders. Through 20 minutes, it was 1-1. Prince Albert led in the shots department 13-9.

If you blinked at the start of the second period, you may have missed two goals from familiar faces of Moose Jaw. A nice passing play finished off by Noah Gregor gave the white and red the lead in the middle stanza; 31 seconds later it was Tyler Jeannot tallying his ninth of the campaign. In game one of the two-game series, both players notched two goals and came together for six points.

Moe was rewarded for his efforts later in the frame with a one-timer of his own that Sawchenko got a piece of — but not enough. Just a day after scoring his first WHL goal, he doubled his production, taking a pass from Simon Stransky. Austin Glover drew the secondary assist. With the helpers, both forwards extended their point streak to five games.

Prince Albert continued to battle back from their deficit with a notch from Cavin Leth. Luke Coleman fed him as the Taber, AB product crossed the blue line, and a quick release snapshot found the back of the net for his seventh of the campaign. For the first time in his career, Leth managed to jump over the six-goal plateau with one team. He had 12 goals in the 2015-16 campaign while sharing time with the Swift Current Broncos and Seattle Thunderbirds.

The Raiders were able regroup and find the offence they’ve been searching for, taking a 3-3 tie into the third, leading 29-20 in shots.

Halbgewachs scored his WHL leading 25th of the season to give the Warriors a 4-3 lead early in the final frame, but it was short-lived.

Like the green and gold had done all night long, they had the answer, and it was from Moe. The 5’8” spark plug tallied a highlight reel goal, batting the puck out of mid air from the left post for his third of the weekend. It was 4-4 after three periods of play.

Habscheid has been impressed with the way his youngsters have been skating, but continues to protect the Raiders’ future.

“You just have to be careful with [the rookies],” he said.

“Be patient, they’re still 16. You have to put them in the right position to be successful and keep building their confidence.”

An overtime period solved nothing and the Raiders found themselves in a shootout for the first time this season. Nicholas Sanders was phenomenal in the extra frame, robbing Halbgewachs of a sure goal with a post-to-post effort, but the Emerald Park product would get his revenge, scoring the game winner on a backhand deke.

Up next for Prince Albert is a date with the Edmonton Oil Kings Dec. 13.

Daily Herald THREE STARS:

1) Jayden Halbgewachs (1 G, 2 A)

2) Spencer Moe (2 G, 1 A)

3) Carson Miller (1 G)

Scoring summary

First period:

(PA) Carson Miller (1) – Cole Fonstad, Spencer Moe (7:46)

(MJ) Josh Thrower (2) – Jayden Halbgewachs, Tanner Jeannot (12:13)

Second period:

(MJ) Noah Gregor (16) – Luka Burzan (0:42)

(MJ) Tanner Jeannot (9) – Brayden Burke, Jayden Halbgewachs (1:13)

(PA) Spencer Moe (2) – Simon Stransky, Austin Glover (7:22)

(PA) Cavin Leth (7) – Luke Coleman, Zack Hayes (16:24)

Third period:

(MJ) Jayden Halbgewachs (25) – Jett Woo (1:11)

(PA) Spencer Moe (3) – Zack Hayes, Vojtech Budik (12:03)