Raiders drop emotional 5-3 contest to Warriors in last home game of regular season

The Prince Albert Raiders came back from a 3-0 deficit, but the Moose Jaw Warriors scored two late goals to escape with a 5-3 win at the Art Hauser Centre on Friday night. It was an emotional night in the building, as it was not only the final home game of the season for the green and gold, but the final home game for Keaton Sorensen, Landon Kosior, and Evan Herman.

The Warriors scored the only goal of the first period to take a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. Martin Rysavy beat a Raider defender who fell, and he fed a pass to the slot for Ben Riche. Riche fired a quick shot past Hildebrand, opening the scoring with 9:43 left in the frame. His eighth goal of the season was good enough to give Moose Jaw the one goal lead heading into the second period. The Raiders led 12-7 in shots, but couldn’t get a goal past Jackson Unger, while going 0/1 on the powerplay in the process.

The Warriors took a 2-0 lead at the 7:45 mark of the second period, and got a very fortunate bounce to get the goal. Jagger Firkus took a shot from long range that hit the end boards, but it bounced back in front over the net. Hildebrand caught the puck behind his back, but the goaltender’s momentum carried him and his glove over the goal line for a good goal. Firkus picked up his 39th goal of the season, doubling Moose Jaw’s lead early in the second.

That lead became 3-0 at the 9:18 mark of the second period. From the right circle, Tate Schofer fired a shot that Hildebrand kicked aside, but the rebound came right back out front for Logan Dowhaniuk. Dowhaniuk wasted no time tracking the rebound, firing a shot past a diving Hildebrand. His fifth goal of the season gave the Warriors a three goal lead midway through the middle frame.

The Raiders cut into that lead with 8:10 left in the second period, as they scored on their second powerplay of the game. Ryder Ritchie sent a pass to the point for Landon Kosior, who fired a shot on goal. In the slot, Sloan Stanick tipped the shot past Unger for his 27th goal of the season to make it a 3-1 game.

Prince Albert kept clawing their way back in the third period, scoring twice to tie the game. Niall Crocker deflected a pass right on the doorstep in the net for his 17th goal of the season on the powerplay to make it a 3-2 game with 8:22 remaining.

With 4:17 to go, the Raiders tied things up with another powerplay goal. Stanick picked up his second goal of the contest on another setup from Kosior. His 28th goal of the campaign levelled the score at 3-3. All three Raider goals came on different man advantages.

Less than a minute after the Raiders tied the game, the Warriors took the lead right back, scoring twice. Ryder Korczak and Jagger Firkus scored just over a minute apart to give Moose Jaw a 5-3 lead, and that would end up being the final.

In front of a packed Art Hauser Centre crowd, the Raiders were sent off with a standing ovation, as the fans showed their appreciation. The 20-year-olds, Keaton Sorensen, Landon Kosior, and Evan Herman, were named the three stars of the game.

The Raiders wrap up the 2022-23 regular season tomorrow night in Regina when they visit the Pats. Puck drop is 7pm.

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