P.A. boy scores tying goal and SO winner to stop Raiders' streak

By Trevor Redden
December 4, 2018 - 11:05pm

The Prince Albert Raiders had their franchise-record win streak snapped Tuesday night in the unlikeliest place, falling 3-2 to in a shootout to the Swift Current Broncos.

Coming into the contest, the Raiders were riding 19 straight wins, and set the pace across Canada with 53 points on the season. At the other end of the spectrum, the Broncos were in last place in the Western Hockey League and third from the bottom in the country with 10 points through 27 games.

Despite outshooting the Broncos 54-24, the Raiders were only able to beat goaltender Joel Hofer twice, which didn’t turn out to be enough this time out.

“He was the difference for sure, but I thought we cheated in a lot of different areas,” said Raiders’ assistant coach Jeff Truitt. “Somewhere along the line it’s going to bite you when it’s not the top of your game, and you’ve got to give these guys credit they work hard.

"They play structured, they block a lot of shots in their defensive zone, they clear out the front of the net with a young back end. They rose to the occasion, and for us we’ve got to sharpen up on the details.”

Swift Current jumped out to an early lead on a power play goal from Tanner Nagel, but the Raiders quickly responded with Brett Leason recording his league-leading 28th goal of the year, extending his season-opening point streak to 28 games.

From that point forward, Hofer proved tough to beat as he stopped all 17 shots faced in the second, and held strong until Brayden Pachal put the Raiders ahead 2-1 midway through the third.

With the game looking to be in hand for the visitors, Prince Albert native Ethan Regnier beat Raider goaltender Ian Scott on the Broncos’ 22nd shot of the night to tie the contest at 2-2, forcing it into overtime.

Prince Albert outshot the Broncos 21-6 in the third period and 4-1 in overtime, but Hofer stood tall and ultimately stopped all three Raider offerings in the shootout, setting the stage for Regnier to cap off his night with the shootout winner on top of a goal and an assist in regulation.

With the winning streak behind them, Truitt believes the Raiders will learn from the loss and be better moving forward.

“Sometimes it’s not a bad thing where you get a little bit of a setback and it kind of makes you appreciate what you’ve done and what you have to do moving forward. With our group, they’re a mature group and they’ll figure this out but sometimes, something like this will bring you back to earth and push you to another level,” said Truitt.

Leason, Scott earn monthly honours

Earlier in the day, Brett Leason and Ian Scott were named as the WHL Player of the Month and Goaltender of the Month, respectively, for November.

Both players have earned the league-honours twice now this season.

Leason tied for the league’s scoring lead in November with 24 points, while Scott posted an 8-0-0-0 record with 1.63 goals against average and a 0.945 save percentage. Both players have been invited to Hockey Canada’s World Junior selection camp which begins Monday in Victoria.

Imports head overseas

Defenceman Sergei Sapego and forward Aliaksei Protas have both left the Raiders to join Team Belarus at the 2019 U20 World Championship Division I in Fussen, Germany from Dec 9-15. Belarus was relegated by Denmark at last year’s World Junior Championship tournament in Buffalo, and the two Raiders will aim to help their country back up to the main stage next year.

Clark debuts

With Sapego out of the lineup, the Raiders recalled defenceman Braydon Clark from the Valley West Giants of the BCMML. Clark was drafted in the third round, 47th overall by the Raiders in 2017.

The Langley, BC native made his WHL debut in Swift Current Tuesday night.

Scoring Summary

First Period

1-0, Broncos, Tanner Nagel from Andrew Fyten and Ethan Regnier (power play), 7:01

1-1, Raiders, Brett Leason from Parker Kelly and Kaiden Guhle, 9:59

Second Period

No scoring.

Third Period

2-1, Raiders, Brayden Pachal from Spencer Moe and Cole Fonstad, 11:15

2-2, Broncos, Ethan Regnier (unassisted), 18:24

Shootout

1-0, Broncos, Ethan Regnier, 3rd round

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On Twitter: @Trevor_Redden

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