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Raiders Open Alberta Road Trip with Win in Lethbridge

Erica Perreaux/Lethbridge Hurricanes

Lethbridge, Alta. – Sloan Stanick had a pair of goals as the Prince Albert Raiders (14-17-1-1) opened their four-game road trip through Alberta with a 5-1 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes (13-14-2-0) at the ENMAX Centre on Friday night.

The game was Stanick’s fourth multi-goal performance of the season.

Keaton Sorensen and Reece Vitelli each registered a goal and an assist in the game, while Cale Sanders and Ozzy Wiesblatt each chipped in with two assists. Eric Johnston also scored for the Raiders.

The first goal of a fast-paced first period was scored by the Raiders with 5:58 to play in the frame. Sanders was checked to the right of Lethbridge Hurricanes goal. He hooked a pass in front from his stomach that found the stick of Sorensen. The Red Deer, Alta. product was able to chip it over Bryan Thomson for his seventh of the season.

The Hurricanes tied the game 1:30 into the second period. Tyson Laventure got behind the Raiders defence, made a move to his forehand and beat Tikhon Chaika to make it 1-1.

The Raiders got the lead back on a two-on-two rush with 5:10 to play in the middle frame. Wiesblatt chipped a pass against the grain to set up the rush led by Evan Herman. He dropped a pass to a crossing Stanick who put a shot on goal that got through Thomson and over the line for the Rapid City, Man. product’s 12th goal of the year.

Before the end of the frame, Vitelli extended the Raiders lead. A poorly-timed line change by the Hurricanes set up a three-on-two rush. Sanders left it for Sorensen for a shot on goal. It was stopped and the rebound hopped over Sanders’ stick. Vitelli was in the right spot behind Sanders and snapped it into the net past a diving Thomson for his 11th of the season, giving the Raiders a 3-1 lead after two periods.

Stanick added his second of the contest 6:29 into the third period. Landon Kosior sold to the Hurricanes defence he was going to skate behind the net. Instead, he left a pass off the right post for Stanick who fired a quick shot over a sprawling Thomson for his 13th of the season, which ties him for the team lead in goals with Herman.

The Hurricanes pressed to get back in the game, buoyed by a couple of power-play opportunities. However, Chaika and the Raiders shorthanded units were able to weather the storm. Chaika’s best save of the power plays came on Laventure. The Hurricanes forward quick shot off a rebound from the bottom of the left faceoff circle was swatted out of the air and away from the net by Chaika and his goal stick.

Johnston iced the game for the Raiders with an empty-net goal on a Lethbridge power play. He banked a clearing attempt off the boards and the puck slid to the other end of the ice and into the empty cage for his first WHL goal.

Chaika finished the game with 22 saves to notch his eighth win of the season. Thomson made 23 saves for the Hurricanes in the loss.

The Raiders’ Alberta road trip continues on Saturday afternoon when they take on the Calgary Hitmen at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Game time is 2:30 p.m. CT. Catch the game on WHL Live on CHL TV, or head to Original Joe’s or The Rock And Iron Club House to watch.

The next Raiders’ home games come on Friday, January 21 and Saturday, January 22 against the Winnipeg ICE and Medicine Hat Tigers, respectively. Puck drop for both games is 7 p.m. Tickets are available at SaskTix.ca.

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