Despite a two-goal comeback to force overtime, the Prince Albert Raiders were only able to come away with one point in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Kootenay ICE Wednesday night in Cranbrook.
Sean Montgomery and Spencer Moe scored in the second for the Raiders, and Parker Kelly tied the game on a shorthanded marker in the third, while Ian Scott and Curtis Meger combined to make 30 saves on 34 shots against in the loss.
After fighting their way to three of a possible four points over the weekend against Swift Current and Moose Jaw, the Raiders came out of the gate flat against the ICE.
“I didn’t think we had any pace to our game in the first forty minutes,” said assistant coach Dave Manson. “We stepped it up to tie it on the kill, but if we want to keep this whole point thing going heading into the weekend we need more.”
The Raiders had three power play opportunities in the first period, giving the team a chance to build a lead on the ICE, but Prince Albert failed to get much going offensively and went into the second period tied 0-0.
In the second, the floodgates opened just 1:34 into the period as Cam Hausinger knocked home a rebound to put the ICE ahead 1-0. Midway through the frame, the Raiders went to the penalty kill for the first time as Rhett Rhinehart went off for kneeing, and Kootenay took advantage on a goal from Jonathan Smart to make it 2-0.
Prince Albert finally got on the board 13:58 into the second with Sean Montgomery notching his seventh of the season on a feed from Devon Skoleski, but Kootenay answered back quickly. With the Raiders right back in it, ICE forward Vince Loschiavo pounced on a rebound, knocking it past Scott to restore a two-goal lead.
That was the end of Scott’s night as he went to the dressing room with 17 saves on 20 shots. Curtis Meger took over and stopped the only two shots directed his way in the second.
Before the second period came to an end, the Raiders cut into the Kootenay lead once again as Sergei Sapego dished to Spencer Moe in the high slot, who made no mistake beating Brkin for his fifth of the year, making it 3-2 ICE after two. Shots in the middle frame were 13-12 for Kootenay, making it 22-20 through forty minutes.
The Raiders seemed to come to life in the third period, pressing hard in the opening minutes but were still looking for the answer when Curtis Miske was called for a double-minor high-sticking penalty with 12:37 remaining in regulation. However, the visitors received a big boost from Parker Kelly as he intercepted a cross ice pass, beating a Kootenay defenceman one-on-one before putting his second shorthanded goal of the year past Brkin to tie the game at 3-3 with 8:50 to play.
After giving up a power play goal in the second, Manson was pleased with the response on the double minor in the third.
“In the first PK we gave them second and third and fourth opportunities, so we showed a lot more determination on that kill, and we were able to equalize the game and that was big for us because the point was huge,” said Manson.
Neither team would find the go-ahead goal in the third, setting up overtime with the score at 3-3 and shots 33-30 in favour of Kootenay.
In the extra frame, it only took 38 seconds for Alec Baer to drive the final dagger as he came out of the corner and out waited Meger before putting it home to give the ICE the win.
Despite picking up the point, defenceman Brayden Pachal said the team needs to be better.
“I think we had a, to be completely honest, terrible first two periods, but I think we played well in the third and we’ve got to build off that going into the weekend,” said Pachal. “It’s obviously good to get that one point but we’ve gotta be better.”
The road ahead
The three-game swing continues this weekend for the Raiders, with a matchup in Calgary against the Hitmen on Friday, before heading to Edmonton on Saturday.
Reflecting on last weekend’s play against Swift Current and Moose Jaw compared to Wednesday in Cranbrook, Manson said the Raiders need to elevate their game.
“These three games are teams that are below us in the standings. We need to make sure we keep pushing the pace and keep pushing these teams,” said Manson. “If we’re going to climb anywhere it’s going to be through a good group effort for 60 minutes.”
For Pachal, he felt that there were positives tonight, but the team needs to show more in the next two games.
“Good teams find a way to win, and we came close, but I think we let it slide there in the first two periods, and I think we all know we’ve gotta be better going into the weekend,” said Pachal.
1-0, ICE, Cameron Hausinger from Vince Loschiavo, 1:34
2-0, ICE, Jonathan Smart from Peyton Krebs and Dallas Hines (PPG), 12:32
2-1, Raiders, Sean Montgomery from Devon Skoleski and Brett Leason, 13:58
3-1, ICE, Vince Loschiavo from Sebastian Streu and Cameron Hausinger, 16:41
3-2, Raiders, Spencer Moe from Sergei Sapego and Justin Nachbaur, 18:45
3-3, Raiders, Parker Kelly (SHG), 8:50
4-3, ICE, Alec Baer from Jonathan Smart and Colton Kroeker, 0:38
On Twitter: @Trevor_Redden
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