Streak breakers

Raiders snap 11-game winless skid in Red Deer

The Prince Albert Raiders went into Friday night’s game in Red Deer without a win on the books since Dec. 27, and they emerged victorious.

Jordy Stallard scored one goal and added two assists to help lead the Raiders to a 3-2 win over the Red Deer Rebels at the Enmax Centrium in Red Deer, Alta.

“We’re really happy. The guys played hard and deserved to win. Their response after a disappointing loss in Kootenay was really good,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said after the game.

Stallard kicked off scoring for the Raiders five minutes into the opening frame. He finished the night with three points and now has seven points in six games since joining the team shortly before the trade deadline.

“He’s still adjusting and he’s getting more comfortable every game,” said Habscheid, adding that the coaching staff is expecting a lot from the 19-year-old Winnipeg Jets draft pick.

The Rebels came back in the second, with Michael Spacek scoring only 1:37 into the period. Evan Polei gave Red Deer the lead on the power play, but before the period was out Parker Kelly would score the equalizer and both sides went into intermission tied 2-2.

In the third period, Red Deer outshot P.A. 18-9, but Raiders goalie Nicholas Sanders was unbeatable. He finished the match with 40 saves.

“I thought Sanders played well,” Habscheid said.

“He didn’t win the game by himself for sure, but he stopped the ones we think he should stop and that’s what we need and he’ll play again (on Saturday).”

With six minutes left in regulation Red Deer’s Jordan Roy was called for kneeing, giving the Raiders a chance to retake the lead with the man up. P.A.’s Brayden Pachal would ultimately capitalize on the power play opportunity, scoring his first goal as a Raider. The goal would stand as the game winner.

Habscheid said the win should put his team in a positive head space for this weekend, when they play back-to-back games in Edmonton and Calgary.

“You always play a little bit lighter when you get a win, so our guys will have a little more hop in their step (Saturday night),” he said.

The Raiders return to the ice on Saturday when they take on the Oil Kings in Edmonton. Puck drop is 8 p.m.


Game Summary

Prince Albert 3, Red Deer 2

First Period

  1. Prince Albert, Stallard 12 (Miske) 5:03

Second Period

  1. Red Deer, Spacek 20 (Hagel, Barteaux) 1:37
  2. Red Deer, Polei 20 (Musil, Spacek) 8:47 (pp)
  3. Prince Albert, Kelly 8 (Stallard, Hayes) 18:03

Third Period

  1. Prince Albert, Pachal 1 (Martin, Stallard) 14:51 (pp)

Goalies: Prince Albert –­ Nicholas Sanders, 40 saves (W, 3-10-1-2); Red Deer – Lasse Petersen, 24 saves (L, 10-8-3-0).

Three Stars: 1. Jordy Stallard; 2. Michael Spacek; 3. Parker Kelly.