White-hot power play lifts Raiders past Tri-City

Photo by Nathan Reiter. Prince Albert Raiders defenseman Landon Kosior plays a puck during WHL action against the Tri-City Americans on Tuesday, Nov. 1 2022

Four power play goals helped the Prince Albert Raiders defeat the Tri-City Americans 5-4 in WHL action on Tuesday night.

The Raiders were short four forwards due to Cole Peardon and Ryder Ritchie being with Team Canada U17, Evan Herman serving the second of a two game suspension and Sloan Stanick being scratched. Head coach Jeff Truitt says the Raiders did a lot, despite being shorthanded in personnel.

“We asked a lot from a lot of players here tonight to grind it out and do the right things. First period was great and the first couple minutes of the second were great. We didn’t solidify anything in our zone and all of a sudden they get four on you. We get a timely goal in the third period and grinded it out.”

Niall Crocker opened the scoring for the Raiders with his second goal of the contest at the 15:20 mark of the first period thanks to a wraparound feed from Keaton Sorenson.

The Tri-City Americans entered play Tuesday ranked 20th out of 22 teams in penalty kill percentage with 71.7% of penalties killed without giving up a goal. The Raiders took full advantage of the floundering American kill with two first period power play goals.

Sorenson would add his second point of the night and his sixth goal of the campaign on the power play at the 17:00 mark assisted by Landon Kosior and Carson Latimer.

The Raider power play would stay hot as Landon Kosior tapped in a loose puck in front of the net on the power play after Americans goaltender Tomas Suchanek lost track of it

Truitt says the Raiders success came because of the quantity of shots on the power play, and not necessarily the quality.

“I thought our guys had a little bit more of a shot mentality. We weren’t really looking for the pretty play. We just have to get these things to the flank and starting blasting away at the net with guys in front. It’s a lesson we learned over the last couple weeks when things dried up and that’s what we got to continue to do.”

Americans forward Reese Belton would be ejected from the game with only 10 seconds left in the first period after a blindside head check to Hayden Pakkala.

On the ensuring five-minute major, the Raiders would make them pay as captain Nolan Allan would snipe one high blocker side on Suchanek 4:21 into the second period to extend the lead to 4-0.

Tri-City was down, but certainly not out as the Americans would answer less than a minute later as Ethan Ernst would score his 8th goal of the season for the Americans to cut the lead to 4-1 for Prince Albert

The Americans attack on the lead would continue as just fifty seconds later Jack Sloan would cut the Raider lead to 4-2.

Calgary Flames prospect Parker Bell would redirect one past Chaika four minutes later to bring the Americans within one at 4-3.

The Americans would complete the comeback from four goals behind as Drew Freer would redirect one past Tikhon Chaika at the 13:49 mark to even the score at 4-4.

However, the Raider power play stayed white hot as Landon Kosior scored his second power play goal of the contest just 1:09 in to give PA a 5-4 lead.

Kosior says the Raiders got some confidence from early special teams’ success.

“It’s a big game, anytime you win the special teams battle and put up four on the power play, you give yourself a chance to win. Once we got a couple in the first, it gave us some confidence. It showed in the third and we made some nice plays.”

The Raiders return to action on Friday night when they welcome the Moose Jaw Warriors to the Art Hauser Centre