Raiders split with Blades
Prince Albert wins 3-2 at the Art Hauser Centre, lose 5-2 in Warman
“He was huge for us. He got first star and it was well deserved.” Raider forward Sean Montgomery on teammate Curtis Meger
Sean Montgomery broke open a tie game with two third period goals as the Prince Albert Raiders downed the Saskatoon Blades in their second game of the WHL preseason on Friday.
Carson Miller also scored for the Raiders, who beat the Blades 3-2 in front of a hometown crowd at the Art Hauser Centre on Friday.
“We got pucks out of our zone and started working them down low, ended up getting a few shots and some went in,” Montgomery said afterwards. “We’ve just got to keep building on that until the start of the season.”
The Raiders opened the scoring early in the third period, when Miller beat Blades starting goalie Nolan Maier to make it 1-0.
Despite outshooting the visitors 10-6 in the opening frame, the Raiders needed a few big saves from Curtis Meger to get into the second period with the lead.
Meger’s biggest first period stop, a desperation stick save, drew rave reviews from his teammates.
“He was huge for us,” Montgomery said. “He got first star and it was well deserved.”
“You can’t plan those out,” a smiling Meger said after the game. “Those saves kind of happen out of the ordinary, but the guy had a wide open net, so I just tried to get something over there. Thankfully I got a stick on it.”
Despite Meger’s efforts, the Blades tied things up at one during a penaltyfilled second period. Seth Bafaro converted on the power play roughly five minutes into the second. The two teams wracked up a number of coincidental minors in a chippy 20 minutes of play.
Montgomery broke the deadlock halfway through the final frame, with assists to D-Jay Jerome and Zack Hayes. The Calgary, Alta. product added another goal on a two-on-one exactly five minutes later, providing all the offence Prince Albert would need.
“(It felt) really good,” Montgomery said when asked about his third period offensive outburst. “It’s good to get the first couple (of goals) out of the way.”
The Blades made things close in the final minute when Josh Paterson scored on another power play, but that’s as close as things got.
BLADES BEAT RAIDERS IN WARMAN
The Prince Albert Raiders struggled to stay out of the penalty box on Saturday and the Saskatoon Blades made them pay.
Cameron Hebig scored three goals, two of which came on the power play, as the Blades downed the Raiders 5-2 in Warman.
The Raiders gave Saskatoon seven power play opportunities in the first two periods, surrendering a total of 27 shots in the process.
The first period was a tight affair, with the Raiders outshooting the Blades 1312, but falling behind 1-0 on Hebig’s first of the night.
The Blades wasted little time adding to their lead once play resumed in the second. Hebig added another power play goal just two minutes into the frame, giving Saskatoon a 2-0 lead.
Gage Ramsay made it 3-0 Saskatoon before the Raiders got on the board. Sean Montgomery continued his hot streak, firing home a quick shot to pull Prince Albert back within two. Raider captain Curtis Miske and 2017 first overall pick Kaiden Guhle drew the assists.
However goals from Hebig and 2016 second overall pick Kirby Dach put the Blades up 5-1 heading into the final frame.
Montgomery struck again for Prince Albert midway through the third, with assists to Miske and D-Jay Jerome, but that’s as close as things would get, as the Blades skated away from a 5-2 victory.
Rookie Brett Balas was busy for most of the night, stopping 36 of 41 shots in a loosing cause. Overage netminder Logan Flodell made 25 saves for Saskatoon.
The Raiders continue their preseason with a home-and-home series against the Regina Pats. The first game takes place on Sept. 15 at the Brandt Centre in Regina. Puck drop is 7 p.m.
Prince Albert’s final home exhibition game comes a day later on Sept. 16.
The Prince Albert Raiders celebrate after Sean Montgomery’s first of two third period goals during WHL preseason action on Friday. The Raiders beat the visiting Saskatoon Blades 3-2 on goals from Montgomery and Carson Miller.