New-look Raiders resilient but fall to Hitmen in OT

By Jeff D'Andrea
January 11, 2017 - 10:07pm

A day after the Prince Albert Raiders and Calgary Hitmen struck a trade deadline deal, they had a rough-and-tumble, back-and-forth kind of hockey game.

The Raiders (8-31-2-2) faced a pair of two-goal deficits, 2-0 and 4-2, but were able to grab a point in a 5-4 overtime defeat to the Hitmen (15-19-4-2).

Hitmen defender Vladislav Yeryomenko’s backhand shot trickled through the wickets of goaltender Ian Scott 2:11 into the extra frame to give the Hitmen the full two points.

Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said his team’s effort was much like what the scoreboard would indicate, great in sections and not-so in others.

“It was in spurts. In the first period we were kind of standing around, watching and introducing ourselves to each other a little bit,” Habscheid said. “We started out okay but they got the first one and we started standing around a little bit. In the second period we were much better, we took over the game.”

Hitmen forward Jakob Stukel scored just five seconds in the third period to restore the Hitmen two-goal lead at 4-2.

That’s when Jordy Stallard scored his first goal as a Prince Albert Raider to make it a 4-3 game, a day after coming from the Hitmen in the deadline deal that sent former-Raider Luke Coleman the other way.

In his previous game in the Art Hauser Centre still with the Hitmen, Stallard scored the game winner in a 3-2 Hitmen victory on Dec. 6.

“It feels good to get that in my belt, but it would have been better to get the win,” Stallard said.

Stallard, who will wear number 19 for the Raiders, skated on the top line alongside Simon Stransky and Curtis Miske. Although Stallard scored and Miske assisted on Cavin Leth’s goal to make it 4-4 and force overtime, Stallard said the top unit can be better.

“Not too bad, we got a little ways to come,” Stallard said. “We’re still looking for that chemistry, it’ll come. But if we want to stay leaders on this team, we’ve got to play a lot better than we did tonight.”

Defenceman Brayden Pachal also made his Raiders debut on Wednesday. Wearing Loch Morrison’s old number 8, Pachal was incredibly physical by de-skating Matteo Gennaro and Justyn Gurney in the first period. He also made two great diving deflections to break up clear 2-on-1 breaks for the Hitmen.

“Pachal, he looks like a good defender, a good puck mover and fearless,” Habscheid said. “He’s pretty strong in his skates. He’ll be a good addition to us as well.”

Scoring Summary

Adam Kadlec had a goal and an assist for the Raiders, the first multi-point game of his career. Kolten Olynek also had a goal and an assist. Cavin Leth scored the 4-4 goal, giving him 11 on the season—second most in Raiders’ team scoring.

Weird couple of days for Coleman

Luke Coleman didn’t have to wait long to play his former club. Just a day after the trade that sent him over to the Hitmen, Coleman found himself back at the Art Hauser Centre as a visitor.

“It feels like camp again being in the visiting room,” Coleman said. “It’s kind of awkward.”

“I kinda just didn’t really believe it,” Coleman added about the trade. “It was a really weird feeling. Just knowing we play Prince Albert so quick, it’s an odd thing to go through.”

The Calgary Raiders

In addition to the Stukel-Coleman trade on Tuesday, the Hitmen still have a handful of former Raiders on their squad.

Their most recent is Jake Kryski, who the Hitmen acquired on Sunday from the Kelowna Rockets. Kryski was the Raiders’ first round pick in 2013 (lucky 13th overall), but was traded to the Kamloops Blazers before he played a game in Green and Gold. Kryski scored on his first shift as a member of the Hitmen in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Saskatoon Blades on Tuesday.

The Hitmen also acquired Matteo Gennaro from the Raiders last season. Gennaro leads the Hitmen this year with 40 points in 37 games. An original second round pick (41st overall) of the Raiders in 2012, Gennaro had 70 points in his first 174 WHL career games with the Raiders between 2013 and 2016. This is just the second game in the Art Hauser Centre for Gennaro since the deal.

Glover returns to P.A. as a Rebel

The Raiders will take on the Red Deer Rebels for their next contest on Friday at the Art Hauser Centre. Before the deadline, the Raiders and Rebels made a deal, sending Austin Glover to Red Deer and D-Jay Jerome to the Raiders.


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On Twitter: @jeff_dandrea

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