Scott scores as Raiders beat Americans

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Ian Scott was all smiles skating by the Prince Albert Raiders bench Friday after he scored a goal against the Tri-City Americans earlier this season.

Ian Scott etched his place in the Western Hockey League record books Friday night.

The Prince Albert Raiders netminder fired a shot from his own end of the ice and into the empty Tri-City Americans net with 43.5 seconds left in the third period Friday to help his team earn a 3-1 victory at the Art Hauser Centre.

“I honestly thought the puck was going to get picked off when I shot it,” Scott said. “It was pretty congested there in the middle of the ice.

“It was pretty crazy after the puck went in the net. I had never done a fly-by past the bench before so to do that with the guys was pretty fun.”

Scott, who is the eighth goalie in league history to score a goal, had tried to put the puck home two nights earlier against the Medicine Hat Tigers but saw his lobbing attempt on net crash into the scoreboard.

“He made a liar out of me because I thought it would be tough to score a goal in this building,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said. “I’m just glad he found the net there instead of having a late face-off in our end late in the game.

“It was a lot of fun to see that happen, especially with a full building like we had tonight. I haven’t heard the crowd like that in a long time.”

Prior to Scott’s history making play, Friday’s affair was tightly contested battle that was tied at zero after 40 minutes.

The Americans took the lead just 71 seconds into the final frame on a goal by Krystof Hrabik, but the Raiders responded a few minutes later as Sergei Sapego scored two seconds into a power play.

Captain Brayden Pachal would then fire home a shot from the slot a little over a minute later to put the hosts out in front for good as they picked up their 12th straight win and improved their record to 12-0 on home ice.

“After Sergei scored, it felt like a playoff atmosphere in here,” Pachal said of Friday’s crowd of 2,829 fans.

“Whenever you hear the building like that, it just gives us a ton of momentum.”

Scott turned another excellent performance in goal as he turned aside 23 shots to earn league best 16th win of the campaign.

Fresh off a shutout of the Swift Current Broncos Wednesday, Beck Warm was stellar once again for the 12-7 Americans as he made 27 saves.

“I thought this was one of our best games of the year tonight,” Americans forward and Prince Albert product Riley Sawchuk said. “We cleaned up number of turnovers that we made at the blueline and played a complete game.

“We really came out to play tonight, but we just came up short.”

The 19-1 Raiders will now head out on the road tomorrow as they’ll face the 10-4-3-3 Brandon Wheat Kings for the first time this season at 7:30 p.m.

“Brandon’s always a great team,” Pachal said. “They are tough to play against and we need to be ready for what they bring.”

Post-Game Notes

Prior to Scott’s successful attempt on net Friday night, the other seven netminders to be credited with a goal in a WHL game are:

  • Olaf Kolzig (Tri-City Americans vs. Seattle Thunderbirds – Nov. 29, 1989)
  • Chris Osgood (Medicine Hat Tigers vs. Swift Current Broncos – Jan. 3, 1991)
  • Jeff Calvert (Tacoma Rockets vs. Moose Jaw Warriors – Dec. 29, 1992)
  • Jason Clague (Red Deer Rebels vs. Lethbridge Hurricanes – March 28, 1994 – WHL Eastern Conference Quarter-Final Playoff Game)
  • Jordan McLaughlin (Prince George Cougars vs. Vancouver Giants – March 5, 2004)
  • Chris Driedger (Calgary Hitmen vs. Kootenay Ice – Feb. 1, 2014)
  • Stuart Skinner (Lethbridge Hurricanes vs. Medicine Hat Tigers – March 18, 2016)

Brett Leason had an assist on Sapego’s third period power play goal to increase his point streak to 20 straight games.

Meanwhile, forward Noah Gregor has a five-game scoring streak after picking up an assist on Pachal’s game-winning goal.

Friday’s win ended a four-game losing streak to the Americans at the Art Hauser Centre, which dated back to a 5-2 Raiders triumph on Oct. 5, 2010.

Tri-City has posted a 2-3 record on their East Division road trip, which concludes Saturday against the Saskatoon Blades.

The Raiders current 12-game win streak is the longest a WHL team has gone on since the Regina Pats had a pair of 11-game runs during the 2016-17 season.

The Victoria Royals won 13 straight games in the 2015-16 campaign.

Defenceman Lane Kirk and forward Ozzy Wiesblatt were the scratches for the Raiders Friday, while blueliners Riley Bruce and Anthony Bishop did not dress for the Americans, along with forwards Michael Rasmussen (currently with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings), Will Kushniryk and Paycen Bjorklund.

Friday’s Scoreboard

  • Brandon 4 Medicine Hat 1 (Ridly Greig – One Goal and Two Assists)
  • Red Deer 7 Kelowna 0 (Brandon Hagel – One Goal and Two Assists – Ethan Anders – 28 Saves – Second Shutout This Year and Third Career Shutout)
  • Calgary 5 Kootenay 0 (Ryder Korczak – Two Goals – Jack McNaughton – 19 Saves – First Career Shutout)
  • Lethbridge 3 Edmonton 2 (Taylor Ross Shootout Winner – One Goal and One Assist)
  • Portland 5 Everett 2 (Joachim Blichfeld – Three Goals and One Assist)
  • Spokane 4 Seattle 2 (Nolan Reid – Two Goals)
  • Vancouver 10 Regina 4 (Milos Roman – Two Goals and One Assist – Nick Henry – Three Goals and One Assist)

Pre-Game Notes

The Wheat Kings and Raiders split their season series at three games apiece, with the home team winning every matchup.

The Raiders have lost their last four games in Brandon in a streak that dates back to a 4-1 victory on Feb. 18, 2017.

Following Friday’s win over the Tigers, the Wheat Kings find themselves in third place in the East Division standings and are just two points back of the Saskatoon Blades.

Brandon forward and Carolina Hurricanes draft pick Stelio Mattheos is currently on a six-game point streak and is tied with Brett Leason for the second most goals in the WHL with 18.

Prince Albert product Braden Schneider is in his second season on the Wheat Kings blueline and has three goals and six assists in 20 games.

Saturday’s Schedule

  • Tri-City vs. Saskatoon – 7 p.m.
  • Medicine Hat vs. Swift Current – 7 p.m.
  • Kelowna vs. Edmonton – 8 p.m.
  • Moose Jaw vs. Lethbridge – 8 p.m.
  • Kootenay vs. Red Deer – 8 p.m.
  • Portland vs. Seattle – 8 p.m.
  • Kamloops vs. Prince George – 9 p.m.
  • Calgary vs. Spokane – 9 p.m.
  • Regina vs. Victoria – 9 p.m.
  • Vancouver vs. Everett – 9 p.m.