It was a weekend to forget for the Prince Albert Raiders.
Having won their first five games to start the Western Hockey League season, the Raiders were manhandled in a pair of losses, 9-1 to the Edmonton Oil Kings on Friday and 5-2 by the Broncos in Swift Current on Saturday.
The Raiders have little time to reflect on the results as they return to action on Tuesday when they host the Vancouver Giants at 7 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre. Then they take to the road for a gruelling four-games-in-five-nights stretch with stops in Red Deer, Calgary, Kootenay and Edmonton over the Thanksgiving Day long weekend.
On Saturday in Swift Current, the Raiders fell behind 2-0 early in the first period before Leon Draisaitl got Prince Albert on the board with his fourth goal of the season.
The Broncos, who overtook the Raiders for first place overall in the Eastern Conference standings with the victory, scored three straight markers in the final frame to extend their lead before Dakota Conroy completed the scoring with a power-play tally in the final minute of the game.
Both Draisaitl and Conroy also picked up an assist as did newly acquired rearguard MacKenzie Johnstone, who was playing in his second game with the Raiders after being acquired from the Kelowna Rockets earlier in the week.
Colby Cave, with two goals, Coda Gordon, Jay Merkley and Graham Black scored for Swift Current, who has just one regulation loss and one shootout loss in seven starts this year.
Cole Cheveldave, who was pulled after allowing four goals in the opening period of Friday’s debacle against Edmonton, made 29 saves against Swift Current while Eetu Laurikainen was tested 30 times in the Broncos’ net.
Prince Albert product Lance Yaremchuk suited up for the first time for the Raiders as he was inserted into the line-up in place of Jayden Hart. A league ruling is expected today on Hart’s boarding major and game misconduct he picked up on Friday when he went after Oil Kings’ Curtis Lazar following the Edmonton captain’s first goal of the game.
Rookie defenseman MacKenzie Stewart also saw action on Saturday and was involved in a second-period fight with Brett Lernout while another freshman, Darcy Zaharichuk, was dressed for a third straight game in place of the injured Mike Winther.
Along with Winther, who is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury, and Hart, the other scratches were rookie defenseman Tyler Dea and Gage Quinney. Dea has yet to dress for the team in the regular season while Quinney left Friday’s contest in some duress and it is unclear as to the extent of his injury.