Prince Albert, SK – The Prince Albert Raiders (35-5-0-1) dropped a 4-1 game to Jaxan Kaluski and the Seattle Thunderbirds (12-21-4-0) on Wednesday night at the Art Hauser Centre.
Kaluski netted his first career WHL hat trick to pace the Thunderbirds in the win.
The Raiders had some jump early in the game, getting chances from Noah Gregor and Dante Hannoun. Midway through the opening frame, the Raiders had a chance to open the scoring with a two-man advantage. However, they were unable to take advantage of the chance and the first period ended scoreless.
Early in the second, Kaluski opened the scoring for Seattle. The Lloydminster, AB product streaked down the left wing and beat Ian Scott with a wrist shot at the 1:23 mark.
Less than a minute later, the Raiders tied it up. Jeremy Masella’s shot from the point went off a Seattle defender in front and past Roddy Ross 2:08 into the period to level the score at 1-1.
With 12:06 to play in the second, the Thunderbirds regained their lead. Jake Lee’s shot from the point missed the net wide, but the puck ricocheted off the endboards to Kaluski at the side of the net. The Thunderbirds forward made no mistake to tally his second goal of the game.
Late in the second, Seattle extended its lead at the end of a Raiders’ power play. The Thunderbirds exited the zone on a two-on-one rush led by Noah Philp. The overager outwaited a sliding Raiders defenceman and passed it over to Kaluski who beat Scott to complete the hat trick with 2:54 to play in the second.
The Raiders pressed in the third period, but late-period penalties took away from time on the attack. With 16 seconds remaining, Matthew Wedman hit the empty net from his own zone to seal the game at 4-1.
Scott stopped 30 shots in a losing effort for the Raiders. Ross turned aside 32 Raider attempts for the Thunderbirds.
The Raiders are off until the weekend when they play two games at the Art Hauser Centre. On Friday, the Portland Winterhawks (25-11-3-2) make their biennial trip to Prince Albert. Then on Saturday, the Calgary Hitmen (20-16-3-1) visit the Hauser on the Second Annual Sock Hop Presented By Parkland Ambulance. Both games begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at raiderhockey.com and the Raider Office.