The Kootenay ICE looked to serve the Prince Albert Raiders their second loss of the season at Western Financial Place.
However, the Raiders would take the 5-1 win against the ICE for their 16th win in a row.
“I thought we played really hard,” said head coach James Patrick.
“I thought it was a good measuring stick to see how far we need to go to improve and for our 16-17 years old’s to see what a lot of elite 19 and 20 years old’s are like. I think those experiences are really good for our group.”
The ICE were able to fend off the Raiders for most of the first period. Jaeger White would hit the post and a fast transition by the Raiders would hurt the ICE. Forward Brett Leason was able to get a breakaway and give the Raiders the 1-0 lead six minutes into the first.
Leason is one of the Raiders top weapons with 24 goals and 27 assists for 51 points on the season coming into the game.
Duncan McGovern would play solid in net to keep the score 1-0 after the first. Shots on net were six to 19 for the visiting Raiders at the end of the period.
ICE defenceman Jordan Chudley would go to the box for hooking in the second and a couple seconds later Dallas Hines would get called for cross-checking.
The Riders would have a three on five powerplay, but the ICE were able to kill off both of them.
But, Prince Albert would keep coming and get their second of the night. McGovern would initially make the save, but the puck would trickle through and Ozzy Wiesblatt would make it 2-0 Raiders.
With a little more than four minutes left in the second period Parker Kelly would extend the Raiders lead as he went forehand then backend to get the puck past McGovern.
With three minutes left in the third Connor McClennon went down into the boards and would need help getting off. That would be the second injury to the ICE in the night, with forward Cameron Hausinger going down in the first after a hard hit and wouldn’t return to the game.
“I haven’t had an update yet. They are both lower-body injuries. Both really important guys on our team. It’s a big loss,” said Patrick.
At the end of the third, it would be 3-0 for the Raiders with them also leading the shot count 14-40.
Brett Davis would have a chance to get the ICE on the board with a breakaway but was stopped by Donovan Buskey. The Raiders would transition back and Noah Gregor would make it 4-0.
The ICE would get on the board halfway through the third period with a tip-in from Michael Milne to give him his first WHL goal.
“I’ve been really happy with him. He’s been skating and working his tail off. He’s such a good skater. He works so hard. Every game he’s played he’s created scoring chances,” said Patrick.
The Raiders would kill off a late penalty and Gregor would come out of the box with a give and go with Brayden Pachal who would bury one behind McGovern.
The shot count at the end of the night would be 23-56 for Prince Albert.
“I thought I was seeing the puck really well. The guys did a good job in front of me, I know 56 is a big number but I thought, for the most part, we kept it to the outside and limited the high-end scoring chances,” said McGovern about the game.
Playing the best in the Canadian Hockey League, defenceman Jonathan Smart said it showed the ICE they could hold their own against the high powered Raiders.
“Both the [defence] cores we played this week are a lot older. Five 19 year old’s on [Prince Albert] tonight and we are quite a bit younger than that so it’s a lot of confidence for the young guys showing they can play against a team like them,” he said.
The ICE will take on the Moose Jaw Warriors on Wed. Nov. 28 at Western Financial Place, puck drop will be 7 p.m.