Raiders draw even on week­end road trip

Team fol­lows lack­lus­ter loss with of­fen­sive ex­plo­sion for 3rd win

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - SPORTS - EVAN RAD­FORD @EvanRad­ford • sports@pa­her­ald.sk.ca

If you get ice-time, you have to con­trib­ute.

That was the mes­sage Prince Al­bert Raiders head coach Marc Hab­scheid de­liv­ered to his play­ers after their lack­lus­ter loss to the Leth­bridge Hur­ri­canes on Friday night, the first of a two-game, week­end swing through Al­berta for the team.

The Hur­ri­canes beat the Raiders 4-1 in a game that saw the vis­it­ing side out­shoot the host team 36-29.

De­spite the shot dif­fer­en­tial, Hab­scheid was unim­pressed with his team’s ef­fort after the loss.

“I didn’t like our start; I didn’t like our first pe­riod. I thought we were just kind of ... there,” he said.

Leth­bridge was aided by the play of its veteran, tow­er­ing goal­tender, Stu­art Skin­ner, whom Hab­scheid called the dif­fer­ence maker for his team.

“He’s a big guy that takes away a lot of the net. But we had some chances, too. I mean, we should have scored – we missed some wide-open nets, and those you gotta bury,” he said.

First-line cen­tre Sean Mont­gomery scored the Raiders’ lone goal of the game at 7:59 of the sec­ond pe­riod. Cur­tis Miske and Devon Skoleski as­sisted on the play.

Miske back­handed a pass to a wait­ing Mont­gomery in the lower slot area, and the 19-year-old snapped the shot past Skin­ner on his blocker side.

That cut the Hur­ri­canes’ lead in half, lev­el­ling the score to 2-1.

But at 13:44 of the third pe­riod, Jay­den Davis slipped the puck past Raiders’ goalie Cur­tis Meger as he squeezed against his left post, ef­fec­tively seal­ing the win for Leth­bridge.

Hur­ri­canes’ cap­tain Gior­gio Estephan added an empty net goal at 18:27 of the game.

“We need some guys that get the qual­ity ice time to score,” Hab­scheid said after the loss. “I thought no one re­ally stood out. And some nights the guys that get the ice time have to be the dif­fer­ence mak­ers,” he em­pha­sized.

The team had a com­plete turn­around Satur­day night.

The Raiders beat the Medicine Hat Tigers 6-1, thanks to of­fen­sive ex­plo­sions from Jordy Stal­lard, Kelly Parker and Cole Fon­stand, the team’s sec­ond line.

Stal­lard opened the scor­ing on a pow­er­play goal at 14:12 of the first pe­riod, and then he as­sisted on ev­ery goal there­after, notch­ing six points on the night.

His line­mate, Fon­stad, moved with the puck in the Tigers’ zone to­wards goalie Jor­dan Hol­lett. When Fon­stad was in line with the face-off dot, he passed the puck cross-ice to Stal­lard, who was wait­ing on Hol­let’s lower-left crease; he one-timed it past a Tigers de­fender into the open net.

“We played the right way and ev­ery­one (had) the de­ter­mi­na­tion to win. That’s what has to be the norm, not the ex­cep­tion,” Hab­scheid said after the win.

The Tigers tied the game seven sec­onds into the sec­ond pe­riod on a Mark Ras­sell goal, scored on the pow­er­play. Right off the open­ing-pe­riod draw, the Tigers’ cap­tain emerged on a break­away and deked out goalie Cur­tis Meger, roof­ing his fore­hand shot. The as­sists came cour­tesy of Max Ger­lach win­ning the draw, and de­fence­man David Quen­neville fir­ing a laser pass over to Ras­sell.

But two min­utes later, Fon­stad scored a top-shelf, wrist shot goal, which wound up be­ing the game win­ner.

De­fence­men Zack Hayes and Max Martin also scored goals for the Raiders in the sec­ond pe­riod, in­creas­ing the score to 4-1 for their side.

Raiders’ winger Parker Kelly poured it on the third pe­riod, scor­ing two goals, one at 9:00 and the sec­ond at 12:27.

Along with his play­ers who had multi-point nights, Hab­scheid said he thought cap­tain Cur­tis Miske stood out for the Raiders.

“He’s new to be­ing a cap­tain and he’s still learn­ing to be a cap­tain. I thought tonight was his best game.

“He didn’t get the game win­ner, but he blocked a lot of shots and he did things that a cap­tain needs to do … I thought he did a good job tonight,” he said.

The Raiders’ bench boss said he wants to see more suc­cess by com­mit­tee from his team, where ev­ery­one is chip­ping in.

“I’ve played on enough teams and I’ve coached enough teams that col­lec­tively have suc­cess be­cause ev­ery­one’s pulling in the same di­rec­tion,” he said.

“We’re not loaded with ten 50-goal scor­ers here, so we’ve gotta play the right way and we’ve gotta play hard and we’ve gotta play to­gether to have suc­cess as a group.”

The Raiders (3-3-0-0) will next play at home against the Regina Pats (3-31-0) on Friday night at the Art Hauser Cen­tre.

We’re not loaded with ten 50-goal scor­ers here, so we’ve gotta play the right way and we’ve gotta play hard and we’ve gotta play to­gether to have suc­cess as a group. Marc Hab­scheid

PRINCE AL­BERT RAIDERS

Prince Al­bert Raiders cen­tre looks for a pass dur­ing 2017-18 WHL ac­tion at the Art Hauser Cen­tre.

HER­ALD FILE PHOTO

Prince Al­bert Raiders cap­tain Cur­tis Miske fol­lows the puck in the of­fen­sive zone dur­ing 2017-18 WHL ac­tion at the Art Hauser Cen­tre.

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