A day after one of their most enthusiastic victories of the season, the Prince Albert Raiders came crashing back to Earth with a 4-1 setback to the Regina Pats in Western Hockey League action on Saturday.
“I thought we had a good first period, but I didn’t think we built off it going into the second and third,” said Raiders’ head coach Steve Young on Sunday.
The loss was 24 hours after the Raiders battled back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the defending WHL champion Edmonton Oil Kings 3-2 before a large and boisterous crowd. That game also had former NHL goaltender Curtis Joseph in the Art Hauser Centre and following the match he visited the Raiders’ dressing room to congratulate the team.
Young says the team might have been on an emotional high when they went to Regina, but he thought the coaching staff had dealt with that issue.
“If we were we did everything to educate them before (the game),” said Young. “Maybe we have to revisit that.”
Emil Sylvegard, a Swedish import for the Pats, put Regina on the board early in the first period before Sawyer Lange evened the count at 1-1 just over nine minutes later.
Prince Albert outshot the Pats 14-3 in that first period, but could not get anything else past Regina netminder Matt Hewitt.
Colten Mayor got Regina the lead once again when he scored six minutes into the middle session and two goals 36 seconds apart by Dyson Stevenson and Jack Rodewald early in the third period sealed the victory.
Hewit finished the game with 36 saves, while Luke Siemens turned aside 23 blasts in the Prince Albert net.
The loss dropped Prince Albert’s record to 11-5-0-2 and was their second straight on the road as they lost 9-0 in Moose Jaw the last time they took to the highway before playing seven straight on home ice.
“We’re a team that has to win on the road,” admitted Young. “We’ve been at home for a while so obviously we have some road games coming to us.”
RAIDER NOTES: The Raiders return home for two more games – Wednesday against Swift Current and Friday against Seattle – before they embark on an extended road trip that will see them play six games in 13 days…Not dressed for Prince Albert on Saturday were Reid Gardiner and Joey Santucci. Gardiner is still another week or so away from returning to the line-up after suffering an upper-body injury three weeks ago while Santucci was a healthy scratch.