Brandon, MB – The Prince Albert Raiders (3-4-1-0) were unable to dig out of a three-goal hole on Saturday night, falling 5-3 to the Brandon Wheat Kings (6-2-0-1) at Westman Place.
Brandon took the lead 7:12 into the first period. Connor Gutenberg scored at the tail end of a Raiders’ penalty. Shortly after, a clearing attempt from the top of Curtis Meger’s crease hit a body in front of the goal and bounced in to put the Wheat Kings up 2-0. With 24 seconds left in the first, Evan Weinger finished off a three-on-rush with a tap-in goal to put the Wheat Kings ahead 3-0 after 20 minutes.
The Raiders got back into the game in the second period using their power play. Jordy Stallard, the Brandon, MB product, scored two near-identical goals with the man advantage on cross-ice passes from Cole Fonstad. Those goals came five minutes apart.
The Wheat Kings restored their two-goal lead with 2:24 left in the second. Stelio Mattheos chipped a shot over Meger’s shoulder off the rush to give Brandon a 4-2 lead after two periods.
In the third, Gunnar Wegleitner extended Brandon’s lead to three with a goal five minutes into the period. Fonstad responded with an unassisted breakaway goal with 7:56 to play, but it was as close as the Raiders got to tying the game.
Meger got the start between the pipes again for the Raiders and made 27 saves in a losing effort. Logan Thompson stopped 25 shots for the win.
The Raiders and the Wheat Kings square off again tomorrow afternoon at Westman Place. Puck drop is 3 p.m.
The next home game for the Raiders is on Tuesday night when the Vancouver Giants visit the Art Hauser Centre. Fans can pick up their BC Passport at the game for a chance to win a trip to British Columbia if they attend every game against the BC Division this season. Game time is 7 p.m. Tickets are available at raiderhockey.com, the Raider Office, or by calling 306-764-GAME.