The Prince Albert Raiders couldn’t stop the winning streak of the Central Division leading Red Deer Rebels as they fell 3-0 in the Red Deer on Saturday night.
Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says he thought the Raiders came out strong in the first period.
“I thought we came out and played one of our best first periods of the year. We were heavy on the puck and winning board battles and we had puck possession in their zone. I thought we carried the play in the first period. And then the game got really emotional. Guys were battling hard, they wanted to keep their streak together and we want to establish one. Emotions got high, penalties happened.”
Coming into play Saturday, the Red Deer Rebels had not lost in 9 games to start the 2022-2023 season.
Truitt says being in a competitive, emotional game against a team near the top of the standings was a good learning opportunity for the young players of the Raiders.
“A lot of our younger guys really felt that hard emotion for the first time this year. It was good for them to get engaged the way that they did, but lessons have to be learned on this side. The intensity was there, we just have to stay within the boundaries.”
The Rebels would open the scoring in the first period as Red Deer captain Jayden Grubbe sniped one past Tikhon Chaika on the power play at the 9:03 mark of the first period.
Shots were even at six shots apiece after 20 minutes of play.
In the second period, Jace Isley struck at the 5:16 mark for Red Deer’s second power play goal of the game to extend the Rebel lead.
Four minutes later, the Rebels would get their third power play at the 9:15 mark as Jhett Larson picked up his seventh goal of the season and extended the Red Deer lead to 3-0.
Red Deer outshot the Raiders 12-7 in the second period.
All three goals for the Rebels came on the power play.
Truitt says the Raiders did not show the urgency needed on the penalty against a mature, veteran team like Red Deer.
“We didn’t block any shots. There wasn’t any urgency on the first one that they scored on in the first period. You don’t get any blocked shots or hard clears. You’re facing a very mature team in Red Deer that can move the puck and they can make you pay on mistakes. If you don’t get the puck down the first time, they can just regroup and do it again.”
The Raiders finish out their Alberta road trip with a Sunday afternoon tilt against the Calgary Hitmen from the Scotiabank Saddledome. Puck drops at 4pm.