Stanick shines as Raiders down Broncos in shootout

Herald file photo.

For the first time in nearly two calendar years, the Prince Albert Raiders came away with a shootout victory downing the Swift Current Broncos 4-3 on Friday night.

“I liked our energy and I liked our focus.” Raider head coach Jeff Truitt said in a post-game interview. “ We talked about the Brandon game the other day (and) how we didn’t come out with a lot of energy. We came out with a ton of energy here in the first period. We were on pucks and doing what we usually do. We were hounding pucks and we had puck possession. Shots were getting through and we were working. That was the biggest thing. Our focus was there.”

Tisdale product Connor Hvidston would open the scoring with his ninth goal of the season just 1:05 into the opening frame.

Hvidston would throw a puck at the net that would go off a Raider stick and past Chase Coward to give the home side a 1-0 lead. Josh Fluker and Owen Pickering assisted on the play.

Prince Albert would have their fair share of chances throughout the frame as they would outshoot Swift Current 17-7 in the first period. 

Jacob Hoffrogge and Krzysztof Macias would both take shots that would beat Bronco netminder Joey Rocha, but not the red iron of the goal post to keep the game 1-0 after 20 minutes.

The Raiders would tie the game at the 4:41 mark of the second period thanks to the captain.

Eric Johnston would get sprung on a breakaway and he would make no mistake for his third goal of the season. Sloan Stanick and Aiden Oiring provided the helpers.

Terrell Goldsmith would give the Raiders a lead with his second goal of the campaign at the 8:22 mark.

The Arizona Coyotes prospect would hammer a point shot that would be stopped by Rocha, but the rebound would go off the leg of a Swift Current defender and in. The goal was unassisted.

At the 20:00 mark of the second period, Terrell Goldsmith would be given a two minute minor penalty that would carry over to the third period.

On the ensuing power play, Swift Current would strike to take the lead as Brady Birnie would strike for his 10th of the season just 1:45 into the final frame. Rylan Gould and Ryan McCleary assisted on the play.

Tyson Laventure would give the Broncos the lead at the 9:49 as the former Raider would strike for his 11th of the season. Connor Gabriel provided the lone helper.

Trailing by one goal late in the third, the Raiders would pull Chase Coward in favor of the extra attacker searching for the equalizer. Prince Albert would even the score at 3-3 with just 25 seconds to go.

A point shot from Justice Christensen led to madness in front of Joey Rocha and Sloan Stanick would tuck the loose puck into the back of the net for ninth goal of the season. Krzysztof Macias also recorded an assist on the play.

“It was enormous. We led and then we were tied and then we were behind and we needed that. You rely on your older guys to do it. Sometimes the outside game doesn’t work in these situations. A lot of goals are scored in tight and that’s he scored the goal.  That’s what you need your guys to do is work on the inside, get rewarded for it.” 

3-on-3 overtime would solve nothing as the two sides would head into a three round shootout.

In the shootout, the first two shooters from each side would not be successful. Krzysztof Macias and Ryder Ritchie would be stopped for Prince Albert, while Tyson Laventure and Connor Hvidston would be denied for Swift.

The third shooter for the Raiders was Sloan Stanick and he would make no mistake snapping a shot past Rocha to give Prince Albert the advantage.

Chase Coward would then make a save on Josh Filmon securing the victory for the Raiders. It’s the first time the Raiders have won in a shootout since Dec. 11, 2021, a period of 720 days. Ozzy Wiesblatt and Landon Kosior scored in that shootout.

Truitt says the Raiders made some changes to their shootout lineup and got some key saves to earn the extra point.

“We haven’t had a lot of success with it. We changed things up a little bit (and) put Macias out first and Ryder (Ritchie) and Stan (Sloan Stanick). We had a number of other guys we were going to go with if needed. It was a great shot by Stanick and a good job by Chase (Coward) as well. A big save when we needed it to get that extra point”

Chase Coward made 31 saves to earn the victory for the Raiders. 

“He was efficient.” Truitt said about Coward. “There weren’t a lot of times when we made him make the spectacular save, he made enough good saves. Our guys did a good enough job that he didn’t have to make the spectacular ones, but he was efficient, smooth and his movements controlled the puck. I liked his focus. He looked like he was dialed in and that’s what you need from your goaltending.”

The Raiders return to action when they take on the Medicine Hat Tigers at Co-op Place. It is the first matchup between Prince Albert and Medicine Hat this season. Puck drops at 8 p.m. Sask time.