Redden on the Raiders is an inside look from the voice of the Raiders, Trevor Redden. It is a mix of information, statistics, opinions, and stories from behind the scenes throughout the Raider season. Feel free to reach out with any questions or comments via Trevor's email or Twitter at the bottom of the article.
Offensive output can be fleeting over the course of a hockey season, and the Prince Albert Raiders found that out firsthand last week.
In three games against Swift Current, Medicine Hat, and Kamloops between Dec. 5 though 8, the Raiders averaged 4.33 goals per game as they picked up a win, an overtime loss, and a shootout loss.
Over the next three games against Saskatoon, Swift Current, and Lethbridge between Dec. 10 through 13, the Raiders averaged two goals per game, coming away with a win and two losses. Worth noting here is that Swift Current scored with 21 seconds remaining in regulation to prevent the Raiders from picking up at least a point in that contest, which would have given them the same point production as the previous three games.
As Dave Manson said after Sunday’s game in Saskatoon, “it’s not always what you create, it’s what you give up,” and the Raiders haven’t given up much these last few games.
My thoughts this week:
Attendance comes up
As pointed out by paNOW’s Jeff D’Andrea, Raider fans have started to come out to the rink over the last two home games, with crowds of over 2,100 to see the 6-5 shootout win over Kamloops on Friday and the 3-2 win over Lethbridge Wednesday.
It’s still a far cry from the over 2,500 that have routinely come out in years past, but after some sparse crowds earlier this year it’s nice to see things trending upwards as the Raiders continue to hold their own in the East Division.
Miske finding his way
Taking on the captaincy is a big deal, and interacting with Curtis Miske this year I can tell that it’s something he takes very seriously. It’s an added responsibility, and I don’t doubt that it has had something to do with a slower start to the year for him offensively compared to his pace last season.
It seems that he’s been rounding into form of late with six points in his last six games including a Teddy Bear Toss goal, a clutch third period goal on Friday, and a game winner on Wednesday night.
Coming into Friday night’s game, Miske has 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points in 33 games played.
Top Prospect nod for Fonstad
On Wednesday, Cole Fonstad received a well-earned invitation to the 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL Top Prospects game, a showcase of the top 40 draft-eligible players in major junior hockey.
After being left off NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary “Players to Watch” list for the 2018 draft, Fonstad has turned heads with his play, and still leads all draft-eligible western leaguers in points this season with 40 points in 33 games, five points up on Lethbridge defenceman Calen Addison.
Water bottle toss
If you missed it on the CKBI postgame show after Wednesday’s game against Lethbridge, Raider Head Coach Marc Habscheid told a great story about Frazer Romanuik who was his Assistant General Manager with the Melfort Mustangs in the late nineties, and happened to be on hand at the Art Hauser Centre that night.
To quickly paraphrase the story, Romanuik was on the bench with Habscheid in North Battleford one night and the game was getting heated, with the Mustangs not agreeing with some of the officials’ calls.
Romanuik grabbed a marker and a water bottle, writing the letters “NB” on the bottle before throwing it toward the referee when he wasn’t looking. The bottle bounced in and hit the referee in the leg, so he turned around and picked it up to see who had thrown it. Of course, when he took a closer look he saw the initials for North Battleford and issued a misconduct to the Stars, giving Romanuik the satisfaction of both throwing the bottle and seeing the opposite bench deal with the aftermath.
“Like pushing rope”
In the same postgame show, Habscheid shared this analogy for how the game played out on the ice, saying it was difficult to complete passes or find any flow in the game. Credit to Duane Bartley for one of the best quotes of the season.
On Twitter: @Trevor_Redden
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