© Herald Photo by Perry Bergson
Prince Albert Raider forward Anthony Bardaro gets a bird's eye view of the Medicine Hat goal during WHL action on Wednesday at the Art Hauser Centre. Bardaro never scored on this chance, but he would get one late in the game to give him eight points in the three games since Christmas.
It is hard to vision how a team will react after a blockbuster trade. The deal could provide a spark or it could be an emotional letdown.
The Prince Albert Raiders definitely weren’t interested in playing hockey on Wednesday as the Medicine Hat Tigers had their way in defeating the East Division leaders 5-2 at the Art Hauser Centre.
“I thought that was a disappointing effort from our club,” said a surprisingly calm Steve Young, the head coach of the Raiders. “All three areas of our game were disappointing. I don’t think we had the energy tonight.”
The Raiders and Tigers were involved in a five-player trade on Tuesday with Logan McVeigh and Zach Hodder moving to Medicine Hat while Jayden Hart and Dylan Busenius relocated to Prince Albert. Connor Hobbs, who is currently playing with the Saskatoon Blazers of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League, also was included in the package and is now property of the Tigers. There were also draft picks that changed hands in the deal.
“Whenever you have new people in the line-up it is different,” said Young. “They (Medicine Hat) went through the same thing last night.”
The Tigers, who lost 7-2 in Saskatoon on the day of the trade, scored every way imaginable against the Raiders. They scored even strength, short-handed, on the power-play, on a weird bounce from the corner and on a bank shot off a teammate’s rear end.
The Raiders looked lost and could only muster 15 shots on Cam Lanigan in the Medicine Hat goal. The Tigers, meanwhile, fired 36 shots at Andy Desautels in the Raider goal and Young said he felt bad for his 18-year-old back-up netminder who was making just his fifth start of the year and first in almost a month.
“Andy is a quality guy and he deserved more help tonight,” said Young.
Medicine Hat captain Hunter Shinkaruk, a projected first-round pick in the NHL draft this summer, led the Tigers’ offense with two goals and an assist with single markers coming from Jacob Doty, Curtis Valk and Elgin Pearce.
Anthony Bardaro scored one of the Raider goals giving him eight points in the three games since the Christmas break with the newest Raiders connecting on the other Prince Albert tally when Hart redirected a Busenius shot from the point.
The loss drops the Raider record to 24-12-0-3, but leaves them 10 points up on the Saskatoon Blades for first place in the East Division. The Raiders and Blades play their third game in a week when the two rivals meet again on Friday at Credit Union Centre.
Young says the team will get back to work today and try and regroup and get ready for that match, but Young knows not everything can be corrected in one practise.
“Any team that plays 72 games you are going to have games like this,” says Young. “They are frustrating to watch and frustrating to watch on video. We have to cut our losses and have a good practise tomorrow (today).”
RAIDER NOTES: Mike Winther collected an assist on the goal by Hart giving him 100 points for his career…The Raiders remain shortstaffed due to international competitions with Mark McNeill and Leon Draisaitl in Ufa, Russia, competing at the world junior hockey championship while Reid Gardiner and Tim Vanstone are in Quebec at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Gardiner and Vanstone are part of Team West, which is winless in four preliminary round-robin games at the tournament…Brought in to fill in the roster are Luke Mahura and Spencer Meyer with 15-year-olds Brendan Guhle and Nick McBride also with the team this week. Mahura was the only one of the extra bodies to see action on Wednesday as Riley Guenther returned to the line-up and saw some shifts on a forward unit with Mahura and Joey Santucci…The Raiders’ next home game is Saturday against the Regina Pats.