© Herald photo by Perry Bergson
Vancouver Giants goaltender Jared Rathjen prepares to make a belly save as Prince Albert Raiders forwards Carson Perreaux (25) and Reid Gardiner (19) prepare to pounce on a rebound during a second period powerplay. Giants defenceman Dalton Thrower also watches the play, which ended with Perreaux knocking the puck wide.
The Prince Albert Raiders stormed back from a 3-0 deficit to snap their two game losing streak, defeating the Vancouver Giants 4-3 in a shootout at the Art Hauser Centre on Tuesday.
The Vancouver Giants came into Tuesday's game the league's only team without goals in the double digits, but had no problem producing in the opening period, scoring three unanswered goals.
Down 3-0 after the first period, Raiders coach Cory Clouston's message to his team between periods was that there is plenty of hockey left to play.
"We've been up before and teams have come back on us. What we talked about was not folding, making sure that we played hard right to the end and I thought our guys did a good job of that," Clouston said.
The Giants opened scoring early as right wing Jackson Houck joined Giants scoring leader Anthony Ast as the only two players on the roster to score more than one goal.
In his eighth straight start between the pipes, Raiders goalie Cole Cheveldave struggled to control rebounds on goals from right wingers Tim Traber and Ty Ronning, both scoring their first of the season.
"Credit to them (Vancouver), they went to the net hard," said Clouston. "Cheveldave has got to do a better job of controlling rebounds and we need to support him up front and when there are rebounds we have to clear them but he's got to do a better job of controlling those rebounds."
The Raiders got themselves on the board with a marker about midway through the second period from center Leon Draisaitl, extending his scoring streak to three games, mounting the Raiders comeback.
Draisaitl, who has put up points in all but one game this season, added an assist to a shorthanded tally by centre Reid Gardiner, putting the Raiders within one.
"I like playing with Gardiner," Draisaitl said. "I can't do it all on my own, I have great linemates, they make it easy for you. They make a great play, set you up," Draisaitl said of his third three-point game of the season.
Rookie centre and Prince Albert native Lance Yaremchuk scored the tying goal from the slot, his first in the WHL, with assists from Draisaitl and Gardiner.
The Raiders would hold the Giants to 10 shots in the second and third periods to setup the Raiders first overtime period of the season.
Outshooting the Giants 5-3 in overtime, the Raiders could not beat Giants goaltender Jared Rathjen sending the game to a shootout where Cheveldave stood his ground, stopping all three Giants shooters.
Draisaitl and Gardiner, contributed the winning shootout goals.
"Shootout are always 50-50," said Draisaitl, "Sometimes you're lucky, sometimes you're not. I'm pretty comfortable in shootouts, obviously I got a little bit lucky with this one."
The Raiders will begin a four-game road trip on Friday against the Red Deer Rebels.
"It's always hard to play on the road. In Prince Albert you got the crowd behind you, but we'll be well prepared and ready for the road," Draisaitl said.
RAIDERS NOTES: Raiders center Jayden Hart is serving a three-game suspension for his late hit on Edmonton Oil King's Curtis Lazar last week. Hart is tied for fifth overall in WHL penalty minutes... Prince Albert native, left wing Lance Yaremchuk, made his Raiders debut Oct. 5 on the road against the Swift Current Broncos... The Vancouver Giants do not have any players from Saskatchewan on their active roster... Raiders defenseman Josh Morrissey is four points shy of associate coach Dave Manson's career total of 95 points in three seasons as a Raider... The Giants have outscored opponents in five of six games this season in losing efforts.