Leavitt Machinery Preview – Game 48 vs. Prince George
RAIDER REVIEW: The Raiders (18-20-6-2) welcome the Prince George Cougars (18-23-4-3) to town as they make their biennial trip to the Art Hauser Centre. The Raiders are coming off of a 4-3 overtime loss to the Calgary Hitmen that wrapped up three-game Central Division trip. Kody McDonald opened the scoring in the first period, followed by Sean Montgomery in the second. After the Hitmen scored late in the middle frame, 15-year-old Ozzy Wiesblatt found the back of the net in his WHL debut 3:47 into the third period to restore the Raiders’ two-goal lead. However, the Hitmen potted two goals in the final three minutes to tie the game before Conner Chaulk ended the game in extra time. Ian Scott got the start, making 33 saves in the loss.
VS. PRINCE GEORGE: This is the only meeting between the Raiders and the Cougars this season. Last year, the Cougars doubled up the Raiders 4-2 at the CN Centre. Parker Kelly led the charge for the Raiders with a goal and an assist. In the last contest at the Art Hauser Centre, the Raiders knocked off the Cougars 3-1 on the strength of a three-point night from Reid Gardiner.
VS. BC DIVISION: This is the fifth and final game against the BC Division this season. The Raiders currently hold a 2-1-1 record against teams from The Pacific Province, picking up victories over the Victoria Royals and Kamloops Blazers.
TRADING PLACES: The Raiders and the Cougars completed a trade on the morning of January 6 that involved three plays and a couple of draft picks. In that trade, the Raiders acquired centre Kody McDonald in exchange for defencemen Rhett Rhinehart and Austin Crossley. Since the deal, McDonald has three goals – including two game winners – in eight games.
MAKING THE LIST: Winger Cole Fonstad was listed on NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings on Monday morning. The Estevan product was ranked 78th among North American skaters. Previously, Fonstad was a “C rated” prospect in NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch list for November, which indicates a fourth, fifth, or sixth-round candidate for the 2018 NHL Draft.
TOP PROSPECTS GAME: Speaking of Cole Fonstad, the Raiders’ winger and the rest of Team Orr fell 7-4 to Team Cherry in the 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Thursday night in Guelph, ON. Fonstad picked up a goal in a losing effort for Team Orr. Check out the highlights here.
CZECH YOURSELF: Defenceman Vojtech Budik is coming off his best offensive week as a Raider. Last week, the import defenceman had four goals and two assists in the Raiders’ four games, including back-to-back game-winning goals in Red Deer and Medicine Hat. The Buffalo Sabres draft pick’s previous high mark in goals for a season was three.
NEXT UP: The Raiders are back at it tomorrow night when the Edmonton Oil Kings visit the Art Hauser Centre. The team will be giving away a trip for two to Las Vegas during the game. Puck drop is 7 p.m. Tickets are available at raiderhockey.com, the Raider Office, or by calling 306-764-5348.