Every single competitive hockey team from Prince Albert is on the road this week and so far the results have been extremely favourable.
The Prince Albert Raiders opened their bi-annual swing through the B.C. Division with a come-from-behind 3-2 Western Hockey League victory over the Prince George Cougars on Wednesday, the Prince Albert Mintos used a three-goal performance from Kylar Hope to extend their Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League winning streak to seven games with a convincing 6-2 triumph over the Battlefords Stars on Thursday and the Prince Albert NAPA Raiders needed a goal by Kevin Ledoux 10:12 into the first overtime period to defeat West Central 7-6 in a Saskatchewan Hockey Association pee wee division playoff series.
Prince Albert Liteway Electric Raiders were in Humboldt on Thursday for the second game of their SHA midget division playoff series against the Broncos and the Venice House Raiders were in Tisdale for a Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League match against the North East Wolf Pack on Thursday, but results were unavailable.
The Prince Albert A&W Bears take to the road this weekend for a Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League doubleheader in Wilcox against the Notre Dame Hounds.
The only blemish was the Prince Albert Icehawks losing 5-0 to the Quakers in a Prairie Junior Hockey League game in Saskatoon on Wednesday.
Following is a brief summary of each team’s game and what lies ahead for those clubs this weekend.
Prince Albert Raiders
After a lengthy trip over the mountains it looked like the Raiders had left their legs on the bus for the start of their game against the Cougars.
The Raiders were outshot 10-2 in the opening 20 minutes of the game in Prince George, but goaltender Luke Siemens kept the game scoreless.
The Cougars then jumped into a 2-0 advantage early in the second period before the Raiders bounced back with goals from Josh Morrissey, Anthony Bardaro and Mike Winther. Siemens finished the game with 26 saves.
The win improves the Raiders record to 28-15-1-3 and keeps them nine points clear of the Swift Current Broncos for first place in the East Division standings.
The Raiders were in Kamloops on Friday (results unavailable at press time) and would need a much better effort as the Blazers were coming off a game where they fired 69 shots at Everett Silvertips’ netminder Adam Lotz in a dramatic 4-3 overtime victory on Wednesday.
Prince Albert is in Kelowna tonight where the Rockets have won 20 straight games at Prospera Place and then they take the ferry to Victoria for a game against the Royals on Tuesday. The western swing concludes in Vancouver on Wednesday with the Raiders then hopping on the bus for the 20-hour trip home to get ready for a home game on Saturday against the Calgary Hitmen.
The NAPA Raiders will be playing for the northern regional berth in the SHA pee wee division playoffs after the thrilling victory over West Central.
The Raiders, who had a 4-1 advantage going into the second game of the two-game, total-goal series, lost Tuesday’s contest 5-2 in Dodsland, which resulted in the need for the extra session and Ledoux’s heroics to determine the winner.
Jack Kowblick and Cody Lehner also scored for Prince Albert, who will now face Warman in the northern final. Dates for that two-game, total-goal series have yet to be determined.
Prince Albert Mintos
Kylar Hope scored a goal in each period to lead the Mintos to the win in the Battlefords and in the process helped Prince Albert maintain its seven-point lead over the Moose Jaw Generals for first place in the league standings.
Kody White, Joel Blaquiere and Ryan Duret also scored for the Mintos, who led 2-0 and 4-0 at the period breaks. Duret, along with his brother Jason and Adam Osczevski, each collected two assists with Jason Duret’s output giving him 12 goals and 37 assists for 49 points, fourth best in the league.
Tanner Burgardt made 25 saves in the Prince Albert goal.
The Mintos will continue their road swing this weekend with stops in Notre Dame today to face the Argos and on Sunday to take on the Generals in Moose Jaw. A win today would match their season-high eight-game winning streak although they did have an 11-game unbeaten run that included one game ending in a tie.
Prince Albert’s next home game is Tuesday when they will host the Tisdale Trojans for the final time in the regular schedule.
The A&W Bears will be taking a four-game winning streak into Wilcox this weekend as they work towards recording their best point total ever in the seven-year history of the franchise.
With eight games remaining on the schedule, the Bears have 31 points and need 10 more to surpass the 40-point total the 2009-10 squad recorded.
Prince Albert, which is coming off a convincing 3-0 victory over the Saskatoon Stars in the inaugural Flaman’s Outdoor Classic last weekend, will also be looking to get their first victory at the Duncan McNeill Arena in Wilcox in more than three years. The Bears swept the Hounds two weeks ago in a doubleheader at the Art Hauser Centre and will need the same effort to have any success this weekend against the Hounds.
Individually, Kelly Regnier’s two-point performance last weekend pushed her past Carlee Hrenkiw for the most points ever recorded by a Bear. Regnier now has 92 points in just under three seasons while Hrenkiw had 91 points in four years with the Bears.
Goaltender Jessica Vance was the winning netminder last week despite splitting the duties with Sara Olson. The win was Vance’s 20th in her career and ties her with Caitlyn Lahonen for the franchise lead. Vance, who has the third best goals-against average this year at 1.63, still has two more years of eligibility with the team.
The Bears have just one more home game on the schedule – Feb. 12 against Saskatoon – and they will be needing a strong finish to secure second place in the standings in addition to tracking down the franchise mark for points in a season.
Venice House Raiders
In addition to the game in Tisdale on Thursday, the Raiders also have a pair of home contests this weekend.
Tonight at 8 p.m. they host the Melville Millionaires and on Sunday they will entertain the Regina Pat Blues at 11:15 a.m. Both games are at the Kinsmen Arena.
Liteway Electric Raiders
The Raiders had a pair of Centre-Four Hockey League games this week in addition to the SHA contest in Humboldt with Liteway Electric getting a six-point effort from captain Josh Elliot in an 8-5 win over Beardy’s on Wednesday while results from a match against the Battlefords on Friday were unavailable.
Elliott had three goals and three assists in the win over Beardy’s with Jack Green, Adam Hergott, Travis Filteau, Logan Usselman and Zach Hurd adding singles.
Prince Albert’s next action will be Friday when they travel to Watson.
Prince Albert Icehawks
The 5-0 loss in Saskatoon on Wednesday put the Icehawks precariously close to being eliminated from playoff contention.
Entering Friday’s home game against the West Central Rage, Prince Albert’s mathematical chances of qualifying for the post-season was down to three meaning any combination of Saskatoon Westley victories and Icehawks losses totalling three would put the Icehawks on the outside looking in for the first time in five years.
The Westleys were to play the last-place Cypress Cyclones on Friday in addition to Prince Albert’s game at home against the Rage so that number could be reduced even further depending on the results, which were unavailable at press time.
The Icehawks, who were on a nine-game losing streak prior to Friday’s match against West Central, will play the Tri-Town Thunder on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Kinsmen Arena.