Down 4-3 after two periods, Raiders captain Curtis Miske delivered a three-point third period to complete a 6-4 comeback victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds at the ShoWare Center in Kent, WA on Tuesday night.
Miske knocked in his own rebound 16 seconds into the final period to tie the game at 4-4. With just over five minutes to play, Miske put a centering feed towards the goal finding Jordy Stallard for a backdoor tap in to give the Raiders the lead, before putting the final nail in the coffin with an unassisted, shorthanded tally into an empty net in the final minute.
After a sluggish effort over the first two periods, the forward lines were mixed up for the Raiders as Stallard joined Miske and Devon Skoleski, while Sean Montgomery moved to a line with Cole Fonstad and Parker Kelly.
“Our leaders got pressed on to be better, because we didn’t have a good first period. Our line came through, which was really good, but it was a good team effort in the third.”
For the third time in three games on this western road swing, the Raiders opened the scoring as Spencer Moe struck early in the first with his fourth goal of the year. Brett Leason and Parker Kelly chipped in as well to give Prince Albert a 3-2 lead after one. Both Thunderbirds goals in the first were scored on 5-on-3 power plays as the Raiders found themselves in the penalty box five times in the opening frame.
In the second, Seattle found the back of the net twice to take the lead for the first time, taking momentum away from the visitors in front of 4526 fans, setting the table for the Raiders’ third period comeback.
“Any points you can take on the road are massive, and we’ve got to keep that going tomorrow,” said Miske. “We’ve got things to work on and we all know that, so we’ll look to work on that in the next games and hopefully keep winning.”
The Raiders continued a trend from Sunday night in Portland, with penalty trouble being a major storyline in the contest. After giving up four 5-on-3 goals against the Winterhawks, the Raiders allowed two 5-on-3 goals in the opening frame Tuesday night. Overall, Seattle had eight power play opportunities, finding the back of the net twice.
The officiating standard seemed to take a turn in the second period, as penalties that had consistently been called against the Raiders in the first were let go in the second, prompting assistant coach Dave Manson to question the way things have been called the last couple games.
“There seems to be a bit of a pattern emerging, but we can’t say anything about it,” said Manson, with a reference to the bench minor assessed against the Raiders coaching staff on Sunday.
1-0, Raiders, Spencer Moe from Brett Leason and Justin Nachbaur, 5:11
1-1, Thunderbirds, Austin Strand from Noah Philp and Donovan Neuls (PPG), 8:27
2-1, Raiders, Brett Leason (SHG), 9:31
3-1, Raiders, Parker Kelly from Cole Fonstad, 12:00
3-2, Thunderbirds, Zack Andrusiak from Reece Harsch and Noah Philp (PPG), 14:53
3-3, Thunderbirds, Turner Ottenbreit from Nolan Volcan (SHG), 0:40
4-3, Thunderbirds, Jarret Tyszka from Nolan Volcan, 14:14
4-4, Raiders, Curtis Miske from Jordy Stallard and Devon Skoleski, 0:16
5-4, Raiders, Jordy Stallard from Curtis Miske, 14:48
6-4, Raiders, Curtis Miske (ENG), 19:25
Milestone for Skoleski
Tuesday night’s game was Skoleski’s 150th career WHL game, and the St. Adolphe, MB native picked up his 10th point of the year in the contest. Wednesday night he’ll face the Everett Silvertips, the team he played with for the first 131 games of his career, for the first time.
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