Warriors edge Raiders in a shootout

Photo Courtesy of Keith Hershmiller/WHL Moose Jaw Warriors blueliner Denton Mateychuk chases after Prince Albert Raiders forward Spencer Moe as they close in on Warriors netminder Boston Bilous on Sunday night at the Brandt Centre.

While there wasn’t as much rust for the players compared to the season opener on Friday at the Brandt Centre, Prince Albert Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid was left wanting more from his veterans following a 2-1 shootout loss to the Moose Jaw Warriors on Sunday night in Regina.

“Our younger guys played well tonight but our older guys weren’t as good,” Habscheid said.

“That’s junior hockey though. You have guys who move up on the roster and get opportunities to play, but you need to perform if you want to stay there.”

Brayden Yager, who was the third overall pick in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft, gave the Warriors their second straight win in the East Division bubble with a top-shelf snipe on Raiders netminder Carter Serhyenko in the third round of the shootout.

“I think he (Brayden) definitely took a step tonight,” Warriors head coach Mark O’Leary said. “The more the game went on, the more comfortable he got.”

Ryder Korczak also scored for the 2-0 Warriors in the skills competition, while Ozzy Wiesblatt countered for the Raiders.

The contest also featured a goaltending duel between Serhyenko and his former teammate Boston Bilous as the pair combined to stop 51 of the 53 shots they faced over 65 minutes of play.

“Carter’s really worked on his game over the break,” Habscheid said. “He’s become bigger and stronger and it was good to see him play the way he did tonight.

“Boston was really good on the other side as well. There was some great goaltending at both ends.”

Each team’s captain provided the offence for both sides in regulation.

Kaiden Guhle opened the scoring for the Raiders midway through the second period and Daemon Hunt countered for the Warriors early in the final frame.

“I think we started off the game well but we fell off a little bit,” said Raiders forward Logan Danis, who recorded an assist on Guhle’s marker. “By the time we got to the third period, Moose Jaw started to take over some shifts and that led to the overtime, where they dominated us.

“Hopefully we can bounce back here and the boys can rally together as a group to get the win in our next game.”

The 1-0-0-1 Raiders will have a matinee affair on Tuesday as they’ll face the 1-0-1-0 Brandon Wheat Kings at 4 p.m.

Post-Game Notes

Daemon Hunt’s third period marker was his first goal since the last game of the 2018-19 regular season.

The Minnesota Wild prospect had 15 assists in 28 games last year after missing time due to an arm injury.

Josh Hoekstra, Riley Niven, Nolan Jones, Braden Miller and Bryden Kiesman did not dress for the Warriors, while the Raiders scratched Adam McNutt and Justin Nachbaur.

Saturday’s Scores

  • Saskatoon 4 Swift Current 2 (Brandon Lisowsky – Two Goals – Isaac Poulter – 36 Saves)
  • Lethbridge 4 Red Deer 3 (Alex Cotton Overtime Winner – Justin Hall – Two Goals and One Assist)
  • Brandon 3 Winnipeg 2 (Jake Chiasson – One Goal and One Assist)
  • Medicine Hat 4 Calgary 2 (Eric Van Impe – One Goal and Two Assists)

Sunday’s Scores

  • Saskatoon 6 Regina 3 (Blake Stevenson – Two Goals and Two Assists)
  • Red Deer 5 Lethbridge 1 (Josh Tarzwell – Two Goals and One Assist)
  • Calgary 5 Medicine Hat 4 (Jackson Van De Leest – Two Goals)

Pre-Game Notes

Since dropping the season series to the Wheat Kings in 2014-15, the Raiders have held the upper hand over their East Division rivals in four of the last five seasons, with the long exception being in 2017-18 when they each won three games.

Last year saw the Raiders take four out of six meetings over the Wheat Kings, with their final matchup coming five days before the 2019-20 campaign was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Forward Ridly Greig will not dress for the Wheat Kings on Tuesday as he serves the second of a three-game suspension for a checking from behind major penalty and a game misconduct he received in Friday’s season opener against the Warriors.

This marks the third time that the Ottawa Senators prospect has been suspended in his career.

Prince Albert’s Braden Schneider, who is the captain for the Wheat Kings and a signed prospect of the New York Rangers, has two goals and an assist in two games to sit in a tie for the team lead in scoring with Jake Chiasson.

Monday’s Schedule

  • Swift Current vs. Winnipeg – 8 p.m.

Tuesday’s Schedule

  • Brandon vs. Prince Albert – 4 p.m.
  • Moose Jaw vs. Regina – 8 p.m.