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Raiders Take Down Americans in Shootout

Judy Simpson/Tri-City Americans

Kennewick, WA – Ilya Usau scored the only goal of the shootout as the Prince Albert Raiders (8-2-3-0) picked up a 3-2 win over the Tri-City Americans (6-5-0-1) at the Toyota Center on Friday night in Kennewick, WA.

Tyson Laventure and Aliaksei Protas scored in regulation for the Raiders. Beck Warm was the story of the game for the Americans. The netminder made 45 saves in regulation and overtime to keep his team in the game.

The Raiders applied pressure throughout the first period, outshooting the Americans 17-8 in the first 20 minutes. However, they were unable to solve Beck Warm.

Two of the Raiders’ best chances came in the second half of the opening frame. On a three-on-two rush, Justin Nachbaur dropped a pass for Jeremy Masella. The defenceman spotted Usau on the right wing and sent a pass his way. The puck got caught in Usau’s skates, preventing the centreman from finding the open cage.

The other chance belonged to Spencer Moe while the game was four-on-four. Moe got the puck just outside Tri-City’s blueline. He carried the puck in, dragged it around a defender, but his backhander was denied by Warm.

The Raiders got on the board in the second period. Laventure and Ozzy Wiesblatt worked a quick give-and-go at the top of crease. Laventure sent it to Wiesblatt, who gave it right back to the Raiders rookie and Laventure scored his second goal in as many games at the 7:52 mark.

Midway through the second, the Americans tied it with a power-play goal. Kyle Olson’s shot from the point appeared to go off a player in front of the Raiders’ net and past Boston Bilous to make it a 1-1 game with 9:17 to play in the middle frame.

In the third, the Raiders had two chances early to regain their lead, but were denied by the post. Landon Kosior’s shot from the point on a power play got through traffic and Warm, but hit the left post squarely. Shortly after, Brayden Watts rang his shot off the crossbar.

The Americans took the lead with 6:51 to play. Bilous made the initial save on the play, but the puck stayed in the crease. Sasha Mutala found the puck at the top of the blue paint and snuck it past the Raiders goaltender to give his team the 2-1 advantage.

The Raiders used the extra attacker again to tie the game. Brayden Watts had the puck behind the Americans’ goal, waited, and found Protas in front. The Washington Capitals prospect made no mistake and tied the game with 55 seconds to play, sending the game to overtime.

In the extra frame, Tri-City was given a power play just 57 seconds in. However, the Raiders penalty killers stood tall, including an important shot block from captain Zack Hayes.

With overtime solving nothing, the game headed to a shootout. It was the first shootout of the season for the Raiders.

After Protas was stopped in the first round, Usau came down the centre of the ice, made a move to his forehand, and slid the puck through Warm’s five-hole.

At the other end, Bilous stopped Olson and Mutala in the first two rounds and Tri-City’s third shooter missed the net to clinch the win. In total, Bilous made 25 saves for the Raiders to capture his seventh win of the year.

The Raiders wrap up their US Division road trip tomorrow night in Spokane against the Chiefs (6-5-1-0) at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. Game time is 8:05 p.m. Saturday’s game can be heard on 101.5 XFM. Also, head to The Rock And Iron Sports Bar to watch.

The next Raiders’ home game is on Friday, November 1 against the Regina Pats. Puck drop is 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the Raiders Office and raiderhockey.com.

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