The Prince Albert Raiders started strong, dominated the second period…then coasted to a 5-2 victory over the Saskatoon Blades Friday night.
The result leaves Prince Albert (21-20-10) with 51 points, just one back of the Blades (25-25-3) with the P.A. holding two games in hand. They’ll use one of those up Saturday with a visit to Regina.
Feisty Parker Kelly scored the game’s first two goals. The 18-year-old right winger, who was signed by Ottawa as a free agent after attending the Senators’ rookie and main training camps in the fall, was all over the ice…playing in all situations…posting nine shots on goal and being a pest with two minor penalties.
However, Logan Christensen’s first goal of the season late in the opening frame drew Saskatoon to within a goal, as they also held a 12-8 shots on goal advantage.
But, the second period was where the Raiders took command, out-shooting the Bridge City Bunch 23-4 and out-scoring them 3-1.
“We get off to a start with a turnover (that led to Kelly’s opening goal just 92 seconds in) and it was kind of the way the game went,” said assistant coach Ryan Keller. “We turned way too many pucks over. We gave them six odd-man rushes in the second period and when you’re doing that, you’re going to be chasing the game a lot throughout the night.”
Brett Leason, Curtis Miske and Cole Fonstad scored the second period tallies for Prince Albert with Eric Florchuk getting the Blue and Gold reply.
The Blades didn’t help their comeback hopes by taking penalty after penalty, giving the Raiders six straight power plays. P.A. out-shot Saskatoon 39-21, won 37 of 65 faceoffs and went 1-for-7 on the power play while the Bridge City Bunch was 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
The Blades are off until Tuesday when they welcome the Kootenay ICE to SaskTel Centre. Following is the official game summary from the WHL...
Saskatoon Blades 2 at Prince Albert Raiders 5 - Status: Final Friday, February 2, 2018 - Art Hauser Centre - Prince Albert, SK
Saskatoon 1 1 0 - 2 Prince Albert 2 3 0 - 5
1st Period-1, Prince Albert, Kelly 22 (McDonald), 1:32. 2, Prince Albert, Kelly 23 (Pachal, Hayes), 13:14. 3, Saskatoon, Christensen 1 (Caller), 17:52. Penalties-Kelly Pa (slashing), 9:33.
2nd Period-4, Prince Albert, Leason 8 (Nachbaur, Fonstad), 8:52. 5, Prince Albert, Miske 18 (Nagy, Stallard), 10:24. 6, Saskatoon, Florchuk 11 (Davidson, Kustra), 14:06. 7, Prince Albert, Fonstad 16 (Stallard), 16:43 (PP). Penalties-Wouters Sas (roughing), 0:53; Kelly Pa (roughing), 0:53; Fiala Sas (slashing), 3:47; Belcourt Pa (slashing), 6:28; Gerlach Sas (slashing), 15:50; Davidson Sas (playing w/out helmet), 16:43.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Caller Sas (tripping), 4:29; Kustra Sas (unsportsmanlike cnd., major-fighting), 11:41; Hayes Pa (roughing, major-fighting), 11:41; Farren Sas (interference), 12:41; Davidson Sas (slashing), 15:43; Christensen Sas (checking from behind), 17:10.
Shots on Goal-Saskatoon 12-4-5-21. Prince Albert 8-22-9-39. Power Play Opportunities-Saskatoon 0 / 2; Prince Albert 1 / 7. Goalies-Saskatoon, Maier 16-10-0-1 (39 shots-34 saves). Prince Albert, Scott 15-13-2-2 (21 shots-19 saves). A-2,357 Referees-Sean Raphael (28), Allan Scott (38). Linesmen-Jordan Carriere (108), Troy Semenchuk (65).