Raiders Roll In Road Trip Opener

Prince George, BC – Six different players scored as the Prince Albert Raiders (38-5-0-1) skated to a 6-2 victory over Prince George Cougars (16-23-1-2) at the CN Centre on Wednesday night.

It was a balanced scoring effort throughout the lineup. Sean Montgomery had a goal and an assist, while Sergei Sapego registered a pair of assists as the only Raiders with multi-point nights. All put three Raiders skaters on the night picked up at least one point.

It was a quick start for the Raiders to their BC road trip, jumping out to an early 7-2 advantage in shots. At the 7:06 mark, they pulled ahead. Brett Leason drove down the wing, stopped up, and fed Sean Montgomery with a pass that led directly to a tap-in goal for the overager’s 19th of the season.

The Raiders added another with 8:49 to play in the period. Spencer Moe set up Parker Kelly with a pass and the Ottawa Senators got behind the Cougars’ defence. Kelly made no mistake with a quick snap shot that beat Taylor Gauthier to make it 2-0.

Late in the period, the Cougars got a goal back. A miscommunication in front of the Raiders’ goal left in the puck right in front of Ian Scott. Jackson Leppard pounced on the loose puck and snuck a shot past Scott with 3:14 to go in the frame.

Early in the second, the Cougars tied it up. Ryan Schoettler’s shot was redirected in front by the 6’7 Mike MacLean to get past Scott to make it a 2-2 game.

Midway through the frame, the Raiders regained their lead. Just nine seconds into a power play, Montgomery found Aliaksei Protas with a cross-crease pass and the Belarusian rookie put it in the back of the net.

Both teams had great opportunities to register the game’s next goal. Ozzy Wiesblatt’s attempt fooled Gauthier, but the puck hit the post and stayed out. At the other end, Scott came across to rob a Cougars attacker followed by Kelly’s play to sweep the puck out of the crease.

The Raiders broke the game open in the third period. Cole Fonstad’s centering pass for Wiesblatt ricocheted off Cougars defenceman Rhett Rhinehart’s skate and past Gauthier to put the Raiders up two 4:50 into the final frame.

Three minutes later, Justin Nachbaur found the back of the net. He took a pass and lifted a backhand shot over Gauthier’s shoulder for his 11th goal of the year.

Late in the third, Noah Gregor tacked on another. Sergei Sapego slowly moved down the left wing, then made a cross-ice pass that the San Jose Sharks prospect hammered home for his 27th goal of the season.

Scott finished the game with 23 saves on the night to win his third consecutive start. Gauthier stopped 43 shots in the loss for the Cougars.

The Raiders head to Kamloops for a Friday night battle with the Blazers (15-23-2-1) at the Sandman Centre. Puck drop is 9 p.m. Catch the game at The Rock And Iron Sports Bar at the Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club or listen on 900 CKBI.

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