Thomson shutout leads Hurricanes in win over Raiders

Photo by Mark Peterson Media/Prince Albert Raiders. Raider forward Keaton Sorenson attempts a shot on goal during WHL action against the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Mar. 3, 2023 at the Art Hauser Centre.

The Prince Albert Raiders couldn’t solve Lethbridge Hurricanes netminder Bryan Thomson on Friday night as the Moose Jaw product would make 31 saves in a shutout 3-0 victory for Lethbridge.

“We didn’t compete hard enough.” Raider head coach Jeff Truitt said about his team’s effort. “I thought that we were light on pucks, we didn’t hustle enough on checks, we didn’t get to the front of the net enough. We were pretty light on a night like tonight.”

Throughout the season series, the Hurricanes and Raiders have scored a combined two goals in the first period with both of those being scored by Lethbridge at the Enmax Centre.

The trend would continue as the two teams would play scoreless hockey through the first period. Prince Albert would outshoot the Hurricanes 11-6 in the first period.

The Hurricanes would catch a break as a pass attempt from Tyson Laventure would redirect off the skate of Aidan Oiring and past Hildebrand for his 20th goal of the season to give Lethbridge a 1-0 lead at the 9:17 mark of the second period. Logan Wormald and Joe Arntsen would receive credit for assists on the play.

Lethbridge would double the lead with Brayden Edwards’ 8th goal of the season coming at the 18:38 mark. The Hurricanes forward would steal the puck away from. The goal was unassisted.

Lethbridge outshot the Raiders 14-9 in the second period.

Truitt says there were several areas which he thought the Raiders could have been better in.

“Our puck movement from our back end, we need to move pucks a lot quicker. Our heaviness just in compete areas. This time of the year, there are no excuses. You can’t have excuses or a lack of urgency. It’s disappointing knowing we got 9 or 10 games left and it’s got to be desperation time and there was not enough of it tonight.”

Tyson Zimmer would extend the lead for Lethbridge with his 16th goal of the season 5:04 into the third period. Zimmer would fire a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that would sneak through the pads of Max Hildebrand. Joe Arntsen would pick up the lone assist on the play. 

Thomson would shut the door the rest of the way to earn the shutout win with 31 saves on the evening.

Truitt says the Raiders didn’t get as many quality chances as he would have liked against the Hurricane goal.

“There were some [chances], but there wasn’t enough. There wasn’t enough traffic. I thought in the first half of the game there were some rebounds that were around, that we never got to and weren’t even close at.”

Max Hildebrand made 27 saves for Prince Albert in the losing effort.

THe Raiders return to action Saturday night when they travel to Moose Jaw to take on the Warriors. Puck drops at 7 p.m.