Hurricanes storm back to beat Raiders

Perry Bergson
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Prince Albert Raiders defenceman Sawyer Lange snaps a shot past Lethbridge Hurricanes netminder Christopher Tai as forward Jay Merkley (#21) and defenceman Macoy Erkamps look on during first period WHL action at the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert on Wednesday. 

The Prince Albert Raiders failed to earn a point in a game they were leading after two periods for the first time this year as they lost 6-4 to the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes in WHL action at the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert on Wednesday.

Jaimen Yakubowski of Dalmeny led the way for the Hurricanes with two third period goals as the visitors came back from period deficits of 2-1 and 4-3.

Raiders coach Steve Young wasn't happy with his team's game.

"I didn't think we played a good game tonight at all," he said. "Any team you're playing, you want to give them credit for coming in here and winning. It was a big win for Lethbridge. As far as our hockey club goes, I thought from the goaltending out we weren't good."

Hurricanes coach Rich Preston said he was pleased with how his club bounced back from a 5-3 loss in Saskatoon on Tuesday.

"I was proud of our guys," he said. "I thought we were the better team. We had a great start for a road game after a disappointing loss last night."

Sawyer Lange opened the scoring 4:38 into the first when he snapped a shot past Hurricanes 16-year-old backup goalie Christopher Tai. It was  his seventh goal of the season but the Prince Albert product's first at home.

The Hurricanes replied nearly nine minutes later with a goal by Russell Maxwell.

Logan McVeigh restored the Raider lead 63 seconds later on the powerplay at 14:09 on a strange bounce.

Lethbridge tied it up 2:06 into the second period with a goal by Jamal Watson and took their first lead at the 6:22 mark when Sam Mckechnie knocked home a rebound.

Raiders captain Mark McNeill continued the parade of goals when he tied the game 84 seconds later with his 12th of the year at 7:56.

Jonas Knutsen's shot from the high slot off the right post and into the net , the result of a lovely pass from Leon Draisaitl out of the corner, restored the Raiders lead midway through the second to 4-3.

Six minutes into the third, the Hurricanes knotted it up again on a goal off of a scramble by Yakubowski.

The Hurricanes cashed in just seven seconds into a powerplay to take the lead with 7:59 left on a goal by Axel Blomqvist.

A late powerplay for the Raiders proved to be an exercise in frustration for the Raiders as they failed to mount any pressure and actually gave up a good chance.

A long empty netter with 47 seconds left by Yakubowski, his second of the period, sealed the 6-4 win.

Lange, who had the first period goal and two assists, says his team has to be better when the play isn't at full strength.

"It was disappointing. It was back and forth, kind of a specialty teams battle is what it came down to," he said. "We didn't pull through on our powerplay or our PK. (penalty kill). It definitely didn't help us."

Lethbridge was two for four on the powerplay while the Raiders were scoreless on their three opportunities.

Notes: Riley Guenther and Joey Santucci were the scratches ... The Raiders won the two games in Lethbridge, 4-1 and 3-2 ... The Hurricanes have four Saskatchewan players on their roster; their captain, Graham Hood, of Martensville, Jaimen Yakubowski of Dalmeny, Kolten Olynek, a rookie from Saskatoon, and rookie defenceman Ryan Pilon of Duck Lake ... The Raiders host the Regina Pats on Friday in a home and home that will see them in Regina on Sunday ... How's this for improvement? The Raiders had an average of 4.1 wins in the last 10 Novembers. This year they have eight with one more game left in the month ... Draisaitl came into the game with four goals and seven assists in his last nine; he added two more assists on Wednesday ... Last season, the Raiders won the first two games and the Hurricanes took the last two ... Lethbridge came into the game in fourth place in the Central Division and fifth overall in the Eastern Conference ... The final shots on net were 31 by the Raiders and 33 by the Hurricanes ... Sawyer Lange and Evan Morden were both plus four on the night while Josh Morrissey was minus four ...

Organizations: Raiders, Prince Albert, Art Hauser Centre

Geographic location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Duck Lake

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