Warriors need shootout to halt Raiders’ win-streak

Prince Albert Raiders forward Regan Nagy (21) carries the puck up ice against the Moose Jaw Warriors while Moose Jaw forward Justin Almeida (8) pursues him during the teams' March 9, 2018 game in P.A. -- Daily Herald File Photo

They couldn’t do it in regulation time, or in overtime.

The Moose Jaw Warriors needed a shootout to beat the Prince Albert Raiders 2-1 Tuesday night, halting the Western Hockey League club’s nine-game win streak on home ice at Mosaic Place.

Despite the loss, Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid commended his team’s effort and hustle in the game.

“It was a low-scoring game. There wasn’t a whole ton of chances on either side. I just thought it was a good, close, tight-checking game.”

“We’re still undefeated in 10 (games) in regulation (time). That’s all I know; they beat us in a shootout, so that’s different than the other way,” he said.

The game opened with scoring from each team’s depth players, starting with Raiders winger Nikita Krivoskrasov at 3:21.

After defenceman Vojtech Budik chipped the puck off the boards and past Warriors defenceman Kale Clague, Krivoskrasov skated by to grab the puck and carry it into the Warriors’ zone with line-mate Eric Pearce, creating a two-on-one.

The Moose Jaw defender committed to Pearce, which allowed Krivoskrasov enough room on goalie Brody Willms’ left side to set up for a laser wrist shot from the faceoff circle.

The winger delivered, sniping the puck past Willms’ blocker side to put his team up 1-0.

Just over 30 seconds later, Warriors winger Vince Loschiavo beat Raiders netminder Ian Scott on a quick forehand shot in close to tie the game.

The Raiders and Warriors played the next 56 minutes to a scoreless draw, prompting the overtime period, which solved nothing. Frequent Warriors’ pressure in the Raiders’ zone forced Scott to make some key saves to keep his team in the game.

The Raiders went zero for two on the shootout, with Willms stopping Regan Nagy and Parker Kelly; the Warriors had scores from Brett Howden and Jayden Halbgewachs for the win.

Not including the shootout, Scott stopped 36 of 37 Warriors’ shots, while Willms turned aside 27 of 28 shots fired by the Raiders.

Both teams went four for four on the penalty kill.

Tuesday’s game was also a milestone for Raiders forward Sean Montgomery: It marked the 19-year-old’s 275th career game in the league, all of which he has played with the Raiders.

The Raiders (32-25-9-3) will now travel to Regina for a Wednesday evening game against the Pats (38-25-5-1). They next play at home on Friday against the Saskatoon Blades (32-33-3-1), who were eliminated from playoff contention after a 5-3 loss in Brandon on Tuesday.

That means the Raiders will qualify for the playoffs this year as a wildcard team. They still have a chance to overtake Brandon for the first wildcard spot in the WHL’s Eastern Conference.

The Raiders finish their regular season play in Saskatoon against the Blades on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.

The longest winning streak in Raiders history is 15 games, set during the 1985-86 season.