Short-staffed Raiders fall to Wheat Kings

Photo Courtesy of Keith Hershmiller/WHL Prince Albert Raiders blueliner Adam McNutt dives at the puck to try and knock it away from Brandon Wheat Kings forward Brett Hyland on Tuesday afternoon at the Brandt Centre.

Although they welcomed back overage forward Spencer Moe to their lineup on Tuesday afternoon, the Prince Albert Raiders weren’t close to having their full roster at their disposal as they matched up with the Brandon Wheat Kings.

While the Wheat Kings handed the Raiders their second straight loss with a 7-1 triumph at the Brandt Centre in Regina, head coach Marc Habscheid was quick to point out that the final score was nowhere near how the game went.

“If there was ever a game where you could be proud of your players after a 7-1 loss, this was it,” Habscheid said. “The guys could have just buckled after their first goal (which was scored by Ridly Greig just 22 seconds into the contest) but they didn’t. They were resilient and kept competing. The guys gave us what they had.”

“I think the effort was there and we kept up with them in the shot numbers,” Raiders forward Matthew Culling said. “We battled all game but the final score wasn’t in our favour.”

Culling had cut the lead to 4-1 on a power play goal midway through the final frame, but the Wheat Kings kept their foot on the floor and found the net three more times on the man advantage, with the final marker coming with 2.9 seconds left on the clock.

“We didn’t talk about that after the game but we never did that when we had good teams,” Habscheid said. “If they decide to run up the scores, that’s what they do. But the Raiders have never done that and we don’t want to do that.”

The 7-2-1-0 Wheat Kings were led on offence by Ben McCartney and Reid Perepeluk, as they had a goal and an assist each and got into first period fights with Justin Nachbaur and Adam McNutt respectively for a Gordie Howe Hat Trick.

Ottawa Senators first round pick Ridly Greig also had a goal and an assist for Brandon, who are enjoying a four-game win streak.

Ty Thorpe, Riley Ginnell, Vincent Iorio and Lynden McCallum rounded out the scoring and Ethan Kruger turned aside 28 shots in the triumph.

“I thought we had a really good team win today,” Iorio said in a post-game press conference. “We played well in all three periods and in all three zones of the ice.

“We’re playing with a lot of confidence right now, but the coaching staff is doing a good job of keeping us on track.”

Carter Serhyenko made his fourth straight start for the 3-5-1-1 Raiders and had a 28-save performance.

Following a busy stretch where they played three games in four days, the Raiders will have a couple of days off before they return to action on Friday at 4 p.m. as they’ll face the 6-3 Winnipeg Ice.

“We’ll have a chance here to rest up our bodies and hang out with the guys a bit to build up that chemistry,” Culling said. “We’re looking to have a good practice and then get ready for the Ice.”

Post-Game Notes

The seven goals that the Wheat Kings scored on Tuesday was the most that the Raiders had allowed in a game since they dropped a wild 8-4 contest at the Art Hauser Centre on Dec. 11, 2019 to the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Ben McCartney and Lynden McCallum kept up their point streaks in the victory as they have reached the score sheet in their last eight and seven games respectively.

In addition to welcoming in forward Dallyn Peekeekoot, who signed with the club earlier in the day, the Raiders also had Max Paddock back in the lineup as he served as the backup to Carter Serhyenko.

Meanwhile, Raiders general manager Curtis Hunt told the team’s play-by-play announcer Trevor Redden on Monday that forward Kyle Crosbie has left the team for personal reasons.

The 20-year-old from Didsbury, Alta., who had no points in six games for the Raiders, is no longer listed on the team’s roster.

Kaiden Guhle, Ozzy Wiesblatt, Evan Herman and Logan Linklater did not dress for the Raiders on Tuesday, while the Wheat Kings scratched Jaxan Dube, Tyson Zimmer, Jacob Hoffrogge and Logen Hammett.

Hayes signs with Golden Knights

Former Prince Albert Raiders captain Zack Hayes is now officially a prospect of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights after signing an entry-level contract with the club on Tuesday.

Hayes, who earned an American Hockey League contract with the Henderson Silver Knights last April, has four points in 17 games this year and leads the league in plus/minus at +17.

He joins former teammate Brayden Pachal as a signed prospect in the Golden Knights system.

Tuesday’s Scores

  • Regina 3 Moose Jaw 2 (Layton Feist Overtime Winner – One Goal and One Assist)
  • Vancouver 5 Victoria 4 (Justin Sourdif – Three Assists)

Pre-Game Notes

The Ice, who won their last game on Sunday by a score of 4-1 over the Moose Jaw Warriors, prevailed in their only meeting with the Raiders in a 3-2 overtime contest on March 21.

Heading into their matchup with the Winnipeg Ice on Wednesday, team captain Peyton Krebs is currently enjoying an eight-game point streak and rookie forward Conor Geekie has a point in his last five contests.

Michael Milne, James Form and Anderson MacDonald are all out of the lineup due to injuries, while Carson Lambos is done for the year with an undisclosed aliment.

Wednesday’s Schedule

  • Everett vs. Seattle – 7 p.m.
  • Saskatoon vs. Winnipeg – 8 p.m.
  • Vancouver vs. Prince George – 8 p.m.

Thursday’s Schedule

  • Swift Current vs. Moose Jaw – 4 p.m.
  • Regina vs. Brandon – 8 p.m.
  • Kamloops vs. Victoria – 8 p.m.

Friday’s Schedule

  • Winnipeg vs. Prince Albert – 4 p.m.
  • Tri-City vs. Portland – 6 p.m.
  • Calgary vs. Medicine Hat – 7 p.m.
  • Edmonton vs. Red Deer – 7 p.m.
  • Seattle vs. Everett – 8 p.m.
  • Moose Jaw vs. Saskatoon – 8 p.m.
  • Kelowna vs. Prince George – 8 p.m.