© Herald photo by Perry Bergson
Prince Albert forward Gage Quinney waits for a rebound off the pad of Regina Pats goaltender Dawson MacAuley as Regina centre Marc McCoy covers him during the first period of their game at the Art Hauser Centre on Saturday evening.
The Prince Albert Raiders strung together two consecutive wins for the first time since Oct. 2, beating the Regina Pats 3-1 at the Art Hauser Centre on Saturday.
Not to be outdone by Raiders rookie goaltender Nick McBride who secured the Raiders win over the Pats on Wednesday, starting backstop Cole Cheveldave stopped 27 of 28 shots in his eighth win of the season.
"Both teams had some good chances in the first, too many chances for our liking and Cole (Cheveldave) did a good job of making the save," Raiders coach Cory Clouston said. "When we needed him most, in the key situations, he played very well."
The Raiders penalty killing unit is flawless against the Pats this season, blanking their power play for the second straight game on Saturday.
"We are getting good goaltending, a real good job of execution," Clouston said of the Raiders penalty killing unit which has left the Pats power play 0-for-9 in two games. "We got some real good blocked shots and when they do get shots for the most part they are from the perimeter and we are doing a good job of clearing it."
With a wraparound goal seven minutes into the first period, Raiders right wing Tim Vanstone opened scoring with his first career WHL goal, the Raiders would maintain the lead from there.
"I didn't plan it like this," Vanstone said of his first WHL goal in 55 games as a Raider. "55 games is a crazy thought when I came into the league, things weren't going my way in my first year in the league you need to have broad shoulders when things aren't going the way you want," he said.
Pats rookie backstop Dawson MacAuley played his first WHL game in Prince Albert on Saturday but he's no rookie to the Art Hauser Centre. MacAuley, a native of Prince Albert, played 42 games for the AAA Prince Albert Mintos over two seasons from 2009 to 2011.
MacAuley and Cheveldave faced 12 shots apiece in the first period.
Forty seconds into the second frame, Raiders centre Shane Danyluk joined linemate Vanstone at the first goal party, scoring his first of the season with an assist from left wing Chance Braid.
Clouston commended the Raiders forward line of Danyluk, Vanstone and Braid, who he said matched up well against a Pats line that is one of the best in the league.
"It was only a matter of time those guys were going to be rewarded for their hard work," Clouston said of Danyluk, Vanstone and Braid. "It's a line we should be able to use against top lines, credit to those guys for working hard, they stuck with the game plan and they were very good for us tonight."
Raiders defenceman Josh Morrissey, who led the team in scoring against the Pats last season, scored his second straight goal against the Pats, a power play marker from Leon Draisaitl and Reid Gardiner with less than four minutes remaining in the second period to give the Raiders a 3-0 cushion.
Cheveldave carried a shutout into the third period, stopping Pats left wing Chandler Stephenson on a short-handed breakaway opportunity in the second period.
After allowing the Pats lone tally from left wing Dyson Stevenson less than 30 seconds into the final period, Cheveldave held on for the win, solidifying the fact that the Raiders have two capable goalies on their roster in Cheveldave and McBride, Vanstone said.
"It gives us a lot of confidence in our back end," Vanstone said of the goaltending duo. "Our blue lines haven't been our strongest suit last four or five games and we have that security blanket now that we have Nick (McBride) and Cheveldalve back there, it's good to have a good, full complete team."
Tallying an assist on Morrissey's goal, Draisaitl extended his scoring streak to four games with his mother Sandra and sister Kim in attendance from Germany.
The Raiders will have Monday off before they are back at the Art Hauser Centre to take on the Medicine Hat Tigers on Tuesday.
RAIDERS NOTES: Not dressed for the Raiders on Saturday were Tyler Dea, Mackenze Stewart, Lance Yaremchuk and Mike Winther... Raiders centre Winther is serving a four-game suspension for his check to the head on Regina Pat's right wing Connor Gay on Wednesday. Winther is the second Raider to be suspended this season, along with centre Jayden Hart... Draisaitl has points in 11 of 14 games this season... Morrissey is sixth overall in Raiders franchise goals by a defenceman with 30. Morrissey is a goal short of Todd Nelson's fifth place total of 31 goals and has recorded a point in 11 of 13 games this season.