Strong start pushes Raiders past Rebels

Max Pahtayken/Daily Herald Prince Albert Raider forward Turner McMillan gets checked by a Red Deer Rebel in front of Rebels goalie Rhett Stoesser in the second period of Prince Albert’s 5-1 win at the Art Hauser Centre.

The Prince Albert burst out of the gate and skated to a 5-1 win over the Red Deer Rebels at the Art Hauser Centre on Wednesday night.

Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says Prince Albert did a solid job of curbing the Rebels momentum.

“The consistency for 60 minutes, We had a great push in the first. They gained some momentum in the second period, they had their looks and put the pressure on us. We sometimes got a little bit sloppy in there, but then I thought that we took over and kind of broke their momentum an awful lot. I thought that a lot of this game was set in the first five minutes, we skated, we re-attacked on pucks, we didn’t give up, there were a lot of second efforts, full credit to the guys, it was a team win.”

It would take just forty seconds for the Raiders to fire the opening salvo as Sloan Stanick would record his 28th goal of the season with a clean shot from the slot. Aiden Oiring picked up the lone assist.

Doogan Pederson would double the Prince Albert lead with his second career WHL goal coming at the 11:10 mark. The 17-year-old defenceman would fire a shot from the point that would be redirected to the left circle and Pederson would pick up his own rebound and fire it past Rebel netminder Rhett Stoesser. Niall Crocker and Jacob Hoffrogge received credit for the assists.

“It’s nice in front of the home fans.” Pederson says. “It’s definitely a better feeling than an away game. It’s nice to get that one on the board and help us get the win here tonight.”

Shots favored Prince Albert 15-2 after the opening twenty minutes.

A Rebel turnover in their own end would lead to the third Raider goal of the night.

An attempted Red Deer clear would hit Brayden Dube in the stomach and the Roblin, Manitoba product would gain control of the puck and fire it past Stoesser for his 14th goal of the campaign. The goal was unassisted

The first penalty calls would come with 6:03 remaining in the second period as a scrum in the corner and infractions against both sides would lead to the Raiders being on a four minute penalty kill.
“It’s just the high stick and he was bleeding.” Truitt explained. “They had to give the four minute that way. And then Kubiesa I got the matching unsportsmanlike. That was the explanation I got”.

After penalties at the end of the second period, the Raiders would start the final stanza on the man advantage.

Aiden Oiring would strike for his 16th goal of the season just twenty one seconds into the frame. Crocker and Stanick assisted on the play.

Red Deer would break the shutout and get the scoreboard at the 15:01 mark of the third period. Frantisek Formanek would put home a loose puck for his 19th goal of the season to cut the Raider lead to 4-1. Kai Uchacz and Jhett Larson received the assists.

Just over a minute later, Niall Crocker would tip a point shot from Justice Christensen past Stoesser for his 20th goal of the season on the power play. Stanick picked up the secondary helper.

Max Hildebrand earned the win for the Raiders making 26 saves. Rhett Stoesser turned aside 30 Raider shots for the Rebels.

The Raiders travel to Brandon on Friday for their next game at Westoba Place. Puck drops at 7 p.m.