Raiders thumped by Blades

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald
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The Prince Albert Raiders picked a bad night to come out flat.

The visiting Raiders lost 7-1 to the Saskatoon Blades at Credit Union Centre on Wednesday, pulling the Memorial Cup hosts within four points of the Raiders with a game in hand.

A night after giving up 52 shots to the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings in a 4-3 overtime loss, the Raiders surrendered 46 shots. Meanwhile, the Raiders only summoned a single shot in the first half of the second period en route to 31 on the game.

They were outshot 19-14 in the first, 18-6 in the second and outshot the Blades 11-9 in the third.

After surrendering a powerplay goal to Blades' trade deadline pickup Michael Ferland at the 13:33 mark of the first, things went from bad to worse for the Raiders when he scored again two minutes later. He's had 13 points during his current six-game point streak.

The game was put out of reach in the first minute of the second period when Graeme Craig scored 31 seconds into the period and then Michael Stransky added a goal 22 seconds later.

Stransky added a powerplay goal at 11:54 on the powerplay, his 28th of the season. Siemens was pulled after the goal for backup Andy DeSautels, who was making his ninth appearance in the team's 54 games.

Collin Valcourt chipped a goal in off of Raider defenceman Riley Guenther with six seconds left in the second to extend the lead to 6-0.

The Raiders finally popped one of their own in when Leon Draisaitl scored five minutes into the third for his 13th of the season from Mark McNeill.

Erik Benoit restored the Blades's six-goal lead a couple minutes later.

Special teams didn't help either. The Raiders gave up two goals on three chances while going scoreless on their single chance.

NOTES: The Blades were making up ground recently. Going into the game they were 7-1-0-2 while the Raiders 5-3-2-0 ... The win was the Blades' sixth in a row ... Harrison Ruopp, Tim Vanstone and Jonas Knutsen remained out of the lineup due to injury ... The previous meetings between the two teams include three Raiders wins, 5-2 on Sept. 22, 5-4 on Dec, 28. and 4-2 on Dec. 29, while the Blades won the season opener 2-1 in a shootout on Sept. 21 and 6-3 on Jan. 4 ... The teams meet for a season-ending pair of games in Prince Albert on March 15-16 ... The Raiders next play when they host the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Friday. The next night they visit Swift Current Broncos to complete a gruelling four games in five nights. That comes on top of the five games in eight nights they played on their B.C swing in late January.

sports@paherald.sk.ca

Organizations: Raiders, Credit Union Centre, Edmonton Oil Kings

Geographic location: Prince Albert Raiders

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