Leavitt Machinery Preview – Game 45 at Kamloops
RAIDER REVIEW: The Raiders (38-5-0-1) continue their BC road trip tonight in Kamloops against the Blazers (15-23-2-1) at the Sandman Centre. In the first game of the trip on Wednesday in Prince George, six different Raiders scored in a 6-2 win over the Cougars at CN Centre. Sean Montgomery had a goal and an assist while Sergei Sapego chipped in a pair of helpers. Cole Fonstad, Noah Gregor, Parker Kelly, Justin Nachbaur, and Aliaksei Protas also scored in the win. All but three of the Raiders’ skaters registered a point in the contest. Ian Scott made 23 saves to pick up his 27th win of the season.
VS. KAMLOOPS: Tonight is the annual meeting of the Raiders and the Blazers. In last year’s meeting, the Raiders downed the Blazers 6-5 in a shootout at the Art Hauser Centre. Cole Fonstad had an assist, scored the game-tying goal late in the third, and netted the shootout winner. The Raiders’ last win in Kamloops came on Dec. 5, 2014 in a 5-4 victory over the Blazers at the Sandman Centre. Simon Stransky paced the offence with a goal and two assists.
VS. BC DIVISION: This is the second of five games against the BC Division this year. Last season, the Raiders posted a 3-1-1 record against the division last year by beating the Blazers, Cougars, and Victoria Royals at the Art Hauser Centre.
FIRST TO 200: Parker Kelly’s first-period goal on Wednesday night was the Raiders’ 200th tally of the season. The Raiders became the first team in the WHL to reach the 200-goal plateau this year, needing just 44 games to do so. With 204 goals on the season, the Raiders are 23 goals ahead of the Portland Winterhawks.
IMPROVING ON LAST YEAR: With a win on Wednesday night, the Raiders recorded their 77th point of the season. Last year, the Raiders finished their 72-game season with 77 points to finish in the second wild card spot. With 38 wins, the Raiders equalled their victory total from the 2015-16 season that saw them finish second in the East Division.
SLUMP BREAKER: With an assist on Justin Nachbaur’s goal on Wednesday night, rookie Jakob Brook ended a 19-game pointless skid. His last point was an assist on Nov. 23 in Medicine Hat against the Tigers. The Roblin, MB product has four goals and four assists in his first WHL campaign.
FONSTAD FILLING THE NET: With a goal on Wednesday night, Cole Fonstad has now scored in three consecutive games and in four of the last five. The Montreal Canadiens prospect is one goal away from 50 in his WHL career and four goals away from tying his season best total of 21 set last season.
NUMBER ONE SPOT: Prior to Wednesday’s game, the Raiders were named the top team in the Kia CHL Top 10 for the 13th consecutive week. The Raiders held onto the spot by winning two of their three games last week.
NEXT UP: The Raiders head to Kelowna on Saturday night to face off against the Rockets (17-22-3-1) at Prospera Pace. Puck drop is 9:05 p.m. CST. The Raiders return to the Art Hauser Centre for games against the Edmonton Oil Kings and Moose Jaw Warriors on Feb. 1 and Feb. 2, respectively. Tickets are available at raiderhockey.com and the Raider Office.