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RAIDER REVIEW: The Raiders (35-4-0-1) take on the Seattle Thunderbirds (12-21-4-0) at the Art Hauser Centre tonight in the only meeting between the two teams this season. In their last outing, the Raiders downed the Saskatoon Blades 5-2 on Saturday night. Noah Gregor (2g-1a) and Cole Fonstad (1g-2a) each had three-point nights in the win. Brett Leason also registered a pair of assists in the win. Justin Nachbaur and Parker Kelly also found the back of the net for the Raiders. Dante Hannoun picked up his first assist as a Raider on Kelly’s goal. Ian Scott stopped 19 shots to pick up his 24th win of the season.
VS. SEATTLE: This is the only meeting of the season between the Raiders and the Thunderbirds. Last year, the Raiders knocked off the Thunderbirds 6-4 in Seattle on the strength of a three-goal third period. Curtis Miske had two goals and an assist in the win. The Raiders’ last win over the Thunderbirds at the Art Hauser Centre came on November 9, 2012 in a 3-0 shutout with Luke Siemens making 28 saves.
VS. US DIVISION: This season, the Raiders have won all three games against the US Division, defeating the Everett Silvertips, Spokane Chiefs, and Tri-City Americans before the New Year. Last year, the Raiders won just one game against the US Division, which came against the Thunderbirds.
MATCHING A CAREER BEST: Ian Scott tied his career high for wins in a season with his 24th victory of the year on Saturday night, equaling the mark set last season. The Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick needed just 28 appearances this year to tie his personal best. This season, Scott has a 24-3-0-1 record with a 1.68 goals-against average, 0.940 save percentage, and four shutouts.
FINDING CHEMISTRY: The line of Cole Fonstad, Noah Gregor, and Ozzy Wiesblatt has been an offensive force for the Raiders. Since coming together on December 7, the three have been the team’s top three scorers. The trio have combined for 24 goals and 36 assists over a 12-game span.
MILESTONE WATCH: Three Raiders are within reach of career milestones entering tonight’s game. Parker Kelly is two games away from 250 played in his WHL career. Recently acquired Dante Hannoun is two goals away for 100 in his career and one point away from 250. Also, Noah Gregor’s next assist will be the 150th of his WHL career.
NACHBAUR’S NEW TOTAL: By scoring his 10th goal of the year on Saturday night, Justin Nachbaur eclipsed his rookie season’s goal total in 26 fewer games. The Cross Lake, MB product also has six assists this season for 16 points in 40 games.
NEXT UP: The Raiders host back-to-back games this weekend. On Friday, the Portland Winterhawks (24-11-3-2) make their biennial trip to Prince Albert. Then on Saturday, the Raiders host the Calgary Hitmen (19-16-3-1) for the Second Annual Sock Hop Presented By Parkland Ambulance. Fans are asked to bring new pairs of socks for donation to Parkland Ambulance with a chance to win a new TV. Both games begin at 7 p.m. Get tickets at raiderhockey.com and the Raider Office.