Trouble on the road

© Dustin Saracini/Daily Herald Sean Montgomery notched an assist on Loch Morrison's first of the year

Raiders drop to 0-3 in B.C. with a 3-1 loss to Victoria

Six hours down the Trans-Canada highway the (5-14-1) Prince Albert Raiders travelled from Kelowna to Victoria for a meeting with the B.C. division’s second place (12-9-2-0) Royals.

The green and gold were searching for their first win of the road trip, but in the end, fell short in a 3-1 affair. Matthew Phillips scored the game winner for Victoria and Griffen Outhouse — the netminder who has played the most minutes in the WHL this season — shut the door the rest of the way. Loch Morrison notched the lone goal for Prince Albert.

“We’re disappointed we lost, but I’m proud of the guys and the way they played,” head coach Marc Habscheid said following the game.

“They played very hard, they played structured, you know, we probably could have had a better fate but we just have a real hard time scoring goals.”

The Raiders have now found the back of the net just four times during their road swing.

Victoria took advantage of a power play opportunity early, much like Kelowna did last Saturday. Tyler Soy found Dante Hannoun near the left hash-mark before hitting longtime Royal Jared Dmytriw in the slot. Dmytriw earned his seventh tally, promptly firing the rubber past Nicholas Sanders. 1-0 Victoria at the 3:06 mark. The notch came after a Simon Stransky goal was disallowed for goalie interference.

The Raiders got on the board late in the second with their second power play goal of the road trip. Morrison scored his first of the year and ninth of his WHL career, taking a pass from Stransky and blasting a shot from the blue line. Sean Montgomery set the screen and the puck hit twine, beating Outhouse and tying the contest.

Sanders was phenomenal in the middle stanza as well, robbing Carter Folk on a partial breakaway before making consecutive saves on Hannoun while shorthanded in the final minute. Number 30 was equal to the task on 14 second period shots from the Royals.

Victoria would score the eventual game winner in the third with Phillips’ 51st career WHL goal. A deflection off a point shot from Brayden Pachal netted his 13th of the campaign. With the tally, Phillips moved his point streak to five games.

Prince Albert delivered some puck-moving pressure with the clock ticking down but ultimately, Outhouse put up a wall with 25 saves.

Tyler Soy scored with the net empty, tying Brandon Magee for most goals as a Royal with 101.

The green and gold took seven trips to the sin bin tonight, 12 in their last two games and were narrowly outshot 30-26 in the contest.

“We always want maybe three penalties at most per game,” Habscheid noted.

“We’ve had more than that the last few games. Some penalties are good but some aren’t so good either. We have to take less penalties for sure. I thought our kill was okay. When we’re killing penalties it’s tough to score goals, too.”

Another chance to get back into the win column starts tomorrow with a game against the (9-12) Vancouver Giants.

Daily Herald THREE STARS

Matthew Phillips (1 G, GWG)

Tyler Soy (1 G, 2 A)

Loch Morrison (1 G)