The Prince Albert Raiders played arguably their biggest game of the season on Friday and their fans showed up to see the Raiders beat the Saskatoon Blades 5-2. With the victory, the Raiders are now just one point back of the Blades for the second WHL Eastern Conference wildcard spot—with two games in hand.
Had they lost that, the Raiders would have been five points back.
With a lot on the line, the Raiders flooded the Art Hauser Centre and added to the excitement and the atmosphere.
“It’s awesome. I’m the kind of guy that likes to feed off that a get a little more jacked up,” Raiders forward Parker Kelly said. “The more people the better, I think I speak for most of the guys on the team.
“Personally, I think it’s the best place to play in the league when the barn is full. They’re pretty rowdy fans here.”
The fans’ energy went right to Kelly’s legs. He scored two goals within the first 13 minutes of the game, including one just 1:32 after the opening faceoff.
“It was an important game, it was a big game,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said. “Some guys like games like this and some guys don’t. He really stepped up.”
With the win, the Raiders are on a seven-game point streak (five wins, two overtime losses), their longest streak this season. It’s also their longest streak since the beginning of the 2015-16 season when they put up points in eight straight games (Oct. 13 to Oct. 30, 2015).
1-0, Raiders, Parker Kelly from Kody McDonald, 1:32
2-0, Raiders, Parker Kelly from Brayden Pachal and Zack Hayes, 13:14
2-1, Blades, Logan Christensen from Jackson Caller, 17:52
3-1, Raiders, Brett Leason from Justin Nachbaur and Cole Fonstad, 8:52
4-1, Raiders, Curtis Miske from Regan Nagy and Jordy Stallard, 10:24
4-2, Blades, Eric Florchuk from Dawson Davidson and Jake Kustra, 14:06
5-2, Raiders, Cole Fonstad from Jordy Stallard, 16:43
Back at it against the Pats
The Raiders will continue their big divisional rivalry weekend by taking on the Regina Pats Saturday in the Queen City. The Raiders have an 0-3-2-0 record against the Pats so far this year, and only had one win against them last year as well (1-5-2-0). They’ll look to buck that trend as the playoff race heats up.
On Twitter: @jeff_dandrea
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