Raiders fall 4-1 in Winnipeg

The Prince Albert Raiders saw their playoff hopes come to an end on Saturday night, as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Winnipeg ICE at Wayne Fleming Arena. The loss, combined with a Calgary Hitmen win in Medicine Hat officially eliminated the Raiders from playoff contention.

It was a scoreless opening 20 minutes, despite both teams getting looks on the man advantage. The best chance to open the scoring came on a Raider powerplay late in the first period, but it came on a couple of ICE shorthanded chances. Matthew Savoie was sprung on a breakaway, but Tikhon Chaika made a big glove save on the first round NHL pick.

On the same powerplay, Connor McClennon had a chance to open the scoring as well. Taking a pass in front, McClennon redirected a shot that Chaika was forced to make another glove save on. The ICE led 10-3 in shots after the opening frame, but both teams entered the second period tied at 0-0.

The ICE found the first goal of the contest at the 10:26 mark of the second period, and it came on their third powerplay of the game with Cole Peardon in the penalty box. From the right circle, Savoie sent a pass to the goal line for former Vancouver Giants forward Zack Ostapchuk. Ostapchuk turned and made a move across the crease, beating Chaika to open the scoring with his 27th goal of the season to make it 1-0.

That lead could have been extended, but Chaika stopped eight of nine shots in the middle frame to keep it a 1-0 Winnipeg lead after 40 minutes, stopping 18 of 19 to that point of the contest. At the other end of the ice, Daniel Hauser went flawless after two periods, stopping all 11 shots he faced.

Winnipeg started to run away in the third period, scoring three straight goals to start the final frame. Evan Friesen gave them a 2-0 lead just 3:47 in, while Ben Zloty and Connor McClennon each scored near the midway mark to give the ICE a 4-0 lead.

With 4:28 left, the Raiders got on the board on the powerplay. After a shot hit the post, Carter Anderson shot home his 13th goal of the season moments later, making it a 4-1 game. Prince Albert ran out of time however, as they ICE came away with a 4-1 win on home ice to kick off a weekend back to back against the green and gold.

The Raiders (27-35-3-0) play their final game against Winnipeg tomorrow night. Puck drop is 4pm Sask time.

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