It took them more than sixty minutes, but the Prince Albert Raiders walked away with two points with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings Monday afternoon at Westoba Place.
Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says that Prince Albert showed grit while playing on the road in the victory.
“I felt that we did some good things, but early on we kind of complicated the game all. They’re trying to do some fancy stuff that they really don’t expect out of our team. One was a drop pass that turns into a goal against and when we’re up 1-0, you want to more responsible with the puck. We fought back again in the third period and in overtime. And we get a big goal from Stanick. I thought on the road and in this building that the guys battled hard. When I told them after the game, it’s not surprising because we continue to come back. We never quit. That’s the biggest thing I’m proud of.”
The teams would trade goals in the first period.
Niall Crocker would break the seal on the scoring his 12th goal of the season coming on the powerplay at the 10:15 mark of the first period. Landon Kosior and Ryder Ritchie would assist on the play.
Brandon would knot up the score at one apiece with Nolan Ritchie’s 20th goal of the season just 1:05 later after a Raider turnover lead to a breakaway opportunity.
Brandon outshot the Raiders 15-6 in the opening twenty minutes.
Truitt says the Raiders weren’t sharp early in the contest.
“I think that we didn’t handle them very well in the first period. They outshot us quite badly and it was because we were a little bit loose in our own zone. We didn’t finish off hits, we weren’t aggressive enough. we turned pucks over a little bit. We were cheating on offense. Those are details of the game that at this level sometimes it takes a little bit longer for them to understand, but they see when we do it and they see it when we don’t. And I think early on, I think that we gave them momentum because of it. So, once we cleaned things up, I thought we battled five on five hard.”
It wouldn’t take long for the Wheat Kings to strike in the second period. Just 0:45 in, Dawson Pasternak would rip his 11th goal of the season past Tikhon Chaika on the power play to give Brandon a 2-1 lead. Nolan Ritchie and Nate Danielson assisted on the play.
The Raiders would answer right back courtesy of the captain Even Herman. Herman would strike for his 13th goal of the season coming just 2:16 into the second period. Keaton Sorenson would receive the lone assist on the play.
After a tripping penalty against Prince Albert’s Cole Peardon, the Wheat King power play would go to work.
Luke Shipley would convert on the power play opportunity for Brandon with his 9th goal of the season at the 4:54 mark of the second period. Quinn Mantei and Roger McQueen assisted on the play.
Prince Albert outshot Brandon 7-6 in the second period.
Heading into the locker room after forty minutes trailing by one, the Raiders needed a goal to even up the score.
That goal would come off the tape of Raider captain Evan Herman at the 11:54 mark of the third period to even up the score at 3-3. Sorenson and Landon Kosior assisted on the play.
Truitt says Herman is contributing for the Raiders at the right time.
“He led by example. For him to step up at a real key time in the season is so good to see. He’s doing things above and beyond and coming up with some key scoring when we do need it along with other guys and he’s a big part of it. He’s leading the charge and that’s what you expect.”
Sixty minutes would solve nothing between the Raiders and Wheat Kings as the two teams would go to the 3-on-3 five minute overtime.
It would take 1:05 for a winner between the two sides to be decided and it would be the Prince Albert Raiders walking away with the victory.
Sloan Stanick, who scored a highlight reel goal against the Wheat Kings at the Art Hauser Centre earlier this season, would come up huge against Brandon once again with the overtime winner coming from a between the legs shot. Keaton Sorenson and Landon Kosior would assist on the play.
Tikhon Chaika earned the win in goal for Prince Albert making 30 saves, while Carson Bjarnason made 22 stops for Brandon
The Raiders return to action on Friday night when they travel to the SaskTel Centre for a rivalry matchup with the Saskatoon Blades. Puck drops at 7 p.m.