Swift Current, SK – The Prince Albert Raiders (30-2-0-1) became the first team in the CHL to reach 30 wins by knocking off the Swift Current Broncos (6-24-1-1) 6-4 on Friday night at the Innovation Credit Union i-plex.
Sean Montgomery picked up a pair of goals and an assist to lead the offensive output. Max Martin, Carson Miller, Cole Fonstad, and Parker Kelly also had multi-point nights for the Raiders.
Miller opened the scoring midway through the first period. Martin’s point shot was stopped in front, but Miller was on the doorstep and banged home the rebound for his 10th goal of the season. About two minutes later, Noah Gregor extended the Raiders’ lead. Fonstad hit Gregor with a stretch pass behind the Broncos’ defence and the San Jose Sharks prospect snapped a shot past Joel Hofer.
Five minutes into the second, the Raiders made it a 3-0 game. Eric Pearce finished off a beautiful passing play from Ozzy Wiesblatt for his fourth goal of the season.
The Broncos got back into the game with 7:39 to play in the second. Joona Kiviniemi’s shot got through Donovan Buskey on the power play to bring the score to 3-1.
Before the end of the middle frame, the Raiders restored their three-goal lead. Montgomery and Kelly broke into the Broncos end on a shorthanded rush. Montgomery fed Kelly, who was turned aside by Hofer. However, Montgomery followed up the play and potted the rebound for his 14th of the year, putting the Raiders up 4-1 after two.
Spencer Moe scored what turned out to be a big goal for the Raiders at the 9:46 mark of the third. While shorthanded, Moe fought off a check, got into the Broncos end, and wired a shot past Hofer’s glove to make it 5-1.
The Broncos responded with two goals in 1:37. First, Alec Zawatsky scored his 10th of the year with 7:37 to play when he took a pass, cut across the goal, and beat Buskey. Then, Connor Horning stepped into the slot on a power play and snapped a shot past Buskey to bring the Broncos back within two.
With 1:04 to play, Sean Montgomery’s second goal of the game was into an empty net to put the game away. Matthew Culling added a goal for the Broncos with 41 seconds left to make it 6-4, but it was as close as the Broncos came.
Buskey stopped 22 shots to improve his record to 7-0 on the season. Hofer made 31 saves in a losing effort.
The Raiders close out the first half of the season on Saturday night at the Art Hauser Centre for Teddy Bear Toss presented by Canadian Tire as they host the Broncos in the second leg of the home-and-home series. Fans are asked to bring stuffed animals, toques, or mittens to throw on the ice after the Raiders score their first goal of the game. Puck drop is 7 p.m. Head to raiderhockey.com and the Raider Office to pick up tickets.
Half-season tickets are now available for a limited time. Stop by the Raider Office for more information. The packages are only available until Sunday, December 30.