Game Preview: Raiders vs. Seattle
RAIDER REVIEW: The Prince Albert Raiders (4-10-1-0) search for their first win against the U.S. Division this season when the Seattle Thunderbirds (5-6-0-1) fly into the Art Hauser Centre on Wednesday night. Last night, the Raiders fell 3-1 to the Warriors in Moose Jaw at Mosaic Place. Luke Coleman scored the Raiders’ lone goal on the evening despite firing 42 shots at Warriors goaltender Zach Sawchenko. At the other end of the ice, Nicholas Sanders stopped 26 shots for the Raiders in a losing effort. Seattle is coming off a 4-3 win over the Saskatoon Blades last night at the SaskTel Centre as they have played three of their six games of their East Division road trip. Currently on their extended swing, the Thunderbirds have a record of 2-1-0-0.
VS. SEATTLE: Tonight is the only time the Raiders tangle with the Thunderbirds this season. Last year, the Raiders travelled to Seattle and came away with a point following a 3-2 shootout loss to the T-birds. Austin Glover had a goal and an assist – both coming in the first period – in the loss.
RECENT HISTORY: The Raiders come in to Wednesday’s game with the Thunderbirds riding a three-game losing streak (0-1-1-1) against Seattle. The last Raiders’ win over the Emerald City was on November 9, 2012. Mark McNeill had a goal and an assist, while Luke Siemens pitched a 28-save shutout in a 3-0 P.A. win.
PENALTY SHOT SUCCESS: Nicholas Sanders stopped Jayden Halbgewach’s penalty shot attempt with 3:55 left to play in the second period on Tuesday night. It was the first penalty shot the Raiders have faced this season. Last year, the Raiders faced two penalty shots and successfully kept the puck out of the net both times.
KILLING THEM OFF: After a rocky start to the season when shorthanded, the Raiders’ penalty kill has turned a corner as of late. The Raiders have surrendered just one power-play goal in their last 16 times down a skater. It comes at a good time for the Raiders as Seattle’s power play is ranked 10th in the league and has seven goals with the man advantage in 14 attempts during their current East Division road trip.
SLOW STARTS: The Raiders have found themselves behind the metaphorical eight-ball many times this season as they have failed to score the game’s first goal in 11 of their 15 games. In that span, the Raiders have a 2-8-1-0 record. In the four games that the Raiders have managed to get the jump on their opponents, they have come away with two wins.
TRADING PARTNERS: There will be some familiar faces on both sides of the ice tonight for the Raiders and the Thunderbirds. The teams have completed two trades since September, with the Raiders acquiring Nic Holowko and Cavin Leth in separate deals in exchange for Layne Bensmiller and Zack Andrusiak.
ROSTER UPDATE: The Raiders have re-assigned 18-year-old forward Dylan Williamson to Junior A.
NEXT UP: The Raiders welcome the Kootenay Ice into the Art Hauser Centre for a Friday night tilt. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the Raider Office or online. It’s also the last home game for nearly 20 days as the Raiders hit the road for their biennial trip through the B.C. Division, beginning on Friday, November 11 in Kamloops.