Saskatoon, SK – The Prince Albert Raiders (20-44-5-2) weren’t able to climb out of a three-goal deficit in the third period, but they sure tried.
The Raiders dropped a 5-3 game to the Saskatoon Blades (28-34-7-2) on Friday night at SaskTel Centre in the first leg of a home-and-home series.
Eight minutes into the game, Cavin Leth opened the scoring by going top shelf on Logan Flodell after the Blades’ netminder made a couple of great saves early. Later in the frame, Jesse Shynkaruk beat Nicholas Sanders to make it a 1-1 game.
The Blades took the lead early in the second. Braylon Shmyr chipped a puck over Sanders on the power play to put the Blades up 2-1 2:05 into the frame. Four minutes later, Michael Farren snapped a shot through Sanders, giving the Blades a 3-1 advantage and ending Sanders’ night after making 11 saves.
Midway through the second the Blades extended their lead. Gage Ramsay scored a shorthanded goal at the 10:21 mark to put Saskatoon up three heading into the third.
Parker Kelly cut into the Blades’ lead at the 4:53 mark of the third. He forced a shorthanded turnover in the Blades’ zone and deked out Flodell to bring the Raiders back within two. About four minutes later, Spencer Moe pounced on Max Martin’s rebound to make it a 4-3 game.
Despite amplifying the pressure with the extra attacker, the Raiders were unable to level the score. Josh Paterson scored an empty-net goal with one second to play to round out the scoring.
Ian Scott made 10 saves in relief and took the loss. Flodell stopped 36 shots in the win.
The second half of the home-and-home series with the Blades is tomorrow night in Prince Albert to finish off the regular season. Puck drop is 7 p.m. Tickets for the final game of the year are available here and the box office beginning on 10 a.m. Saturday morning.