Prince Albert, SK – The Prince Albert Raiders (3-0-0-0) held off a third-period push by the Medicine Hat Tigers (1-3-0-0) to earn a 5-3 victory on Friday night at the Art Hauser Centre.
Cole Fonstad and Sean Montgomery each had a goal and an assist, while Brett Leason played the role of distributor with three assists on the evening.
Max Martin opened the scoring midway through the first with a power-play goal on a shot from the point. Six minutes later, Ozzy Wiesblatt pounced on a turnover forced by fellow rookie Jakob Brook and snapped the puck past Jordan Hollett to make it a 2-0 game after the first period.
Fonstad increased the Raiders’ lead in the second period on a five-on-three power-play opportunity. The Montreal Canadiens draft pick found a loose puck at the side of the net on a goal-mouth scramble and banged it home for his third goal of the season.
However, the Tigers turned it on in the second half of the third period. Tyler Preziuso scored off the faceoff following the media timeout in the final frame to make it 3-1. Four minutes later, Ryan Chyzowski broguth Medicine Hat back within one with his first of the year.
Two minutes later, the Raiders struck shorthanded. Leason chipped a pass ahead to Montgomery, who scored on the breakaway to put the Raiders up 4-2 with 3:21 to play. On the same power play, the Tigers got back within one when Henrik Rybinski solved Ian Scott.
It was as close as the Tigers came on the evening. Justin Nachbaur was the beneficiary of Leason taking a hit to make a play as the Cross Lake product sealed the game an empty-net marker with 41.9 seconds to play.
Scott earned the win between the pipes for the Raiders, making 35 saves in his third consecutive start to open the season. Jordan Hollett stopped 39 shots for the Tigers.
It’s a quick turnaround for the Raiders as they head to Moose Jaw tomorrow night to take on the Warriors (0-2-0-0) at Mosaic Place. Game time is 7 p.m. Head to The Rock And Iron Sports Bar for the official watch party for tomorrow night’s game.
The Raiders return to the Art Hauser Centre on Sunday evening to face off against the Saskatoon Blades (2-0-0-0). Puck drop is 6 p.m. Tickets are available at raiderhockey.com. The Raider Box Office will open at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning.