Medicine Hat Tigers captain Curtis Valk works with the puck between Prince Albert Raiders goaltender Cole Cheveldave and defenceman Dylan Busenius during a third period powerplay at the Art Hauser Centre on Tuesday evening. Tigers defenceman Dylan Bredo can be seen in the background. The Tigers won 3-1. Daily Herald photo by Perry Bergson
Medicine Hat Tigers coach Shaun Clouston can proudly look down at his younger brother Cory from the WHL standings, surpassing the Raiders point total in the Eastern Conference, defeating the Raiders 3-1 at the Art Hauser Centre on Tuesday.
"It's not a rivalry," Raiders coach Cory Clouston said of playing his elder brother. "He's my best friend. Obviously he wants to beat me and he did tonight, but it has nothing to do with him being my brother at all."
Shaun seized the opportunity to jump his brother and the Raiders in the standings, as the Tigers outshot the Raiders 50-22 in their second straight win.
The Raiders penalty killing unit was a perfect 0-for-9 in two games against the Regina Pats last week, but the Tigers figured it out just over five minutes into the first period, opening scoring with the period's lone goal on the power play from right wing Jacob Doty.
"We took undisciplined penalties, we took poorly timed penalties and they capitalized on those momentum swings," Clouston said of the Raiders who were seemingly shorthanded throughout the game, handing the Tigers five power play opportunities. "They out hustled us, they had better structure then we did and were way better prepared than we were."
Clouston admitted some frustration with the officiating on Tuesday, but did not believe it affected the outcome of the game.
"There were some times where we questioned their (officials) decision making but there is no way we are going to blame that. We are our own worst enemy, we aren't going to blame the officiating," Clouston said.
After Doty's goal, backstop Cole Cheveldave kept the Raiders within one, despite being outshot by the Tigers 15-5 in the opening period.
Cheveldave made a series of saves in the opening minutes of the second period before Raiders right wing Reid Gardiner beat Phoenix Coyotes goaltending prospect Marek Langhamer to put the Raiders on the board and tie the game. Notching an assist on Gardiner's goal, Raiders defenceman Josh Morrissey extended his point streak to five games.
Raiders left wing Craig Leverton struggled to get up and needed assistance off the ice after taking a hit in the corner late in the second period. Leverton went straight to the dressing room following the hit and did not return to the game.
Outshot 23-7 in the second period, Cheveldave did everything he could to keep the game tied, but was eventually beaten by a slap shot from the point by Tigers defenceman Tyler Lewington, putting the Tiger ahead 2-1 going into the final frame.
"He was our best player by a mile," Clouston said of Cheveldave who made a season high 47 saves on Tuesday "We didn't give him the support that he needed. We were playing better hockey and month ago and we have to realize what we were doing back then compared to what we are doing now."
Raiders left wing Chance Braid delivered a big hit against the boards on Tigers center Chad Labelle midway through the third period, igniting Braid's second fight of the season against Lewington, who's second period marker turned out the be the game winner.
Cheveldave remained vigilant in the third period to keep the game within reach, stopping all 12 shots, but the Raiders failed to generate offence, producing just 10 shots in a third period that included two power play opportunities.
"He (Cheveldave) held us in it from the start. It would have been nice to get him the win but that's how it goes sometimes," Braid said.
With Cheveldave pulled for the extra attacker with a minute remaining, Tigers center Curtis Valk drove the nail into the coffin with the empty net goal to secure the victory with 30 seconds remaining.
The Raiders will have two days off before they are back at the Art Hauser Centre to take on the Regina Pats on Friday.
RAIDERS NOTES: Not dressed for the Raiders on Saturday were Lance Yaremchuk, Tyler Dea, Mackenzie Stewart and Mike Winther ... Raiders centre Winther is serving the second game of a four-game suspension for his check to the head on Regina Pat's right wing Connor Gay on Oct. 23. Winther is the second Raider to be suspended this season, along with centre Jayden Hart ... Draisaitl has points in 11 of 15 games this season... Defenceman Josh Morrissey is sixth overall in Raiders franchise goals by a defenceman with 30, one goal shy of Todd Nelson’s fifth place total of 31... Morrissey has recorded a point in 11 of 14 games this season ...Raiders coach Cory Clouston has a coaching record of 257-143-27 over seven WHL seasons with the Raiders, Kootenay Ice and Brandon Wheat Kings. Cory's older brother Shaun, has a record of 148-117-22 over five seasons with the Tri-City Americans and Medicine Hat Tigers ... Both Cory and Shaun played for the University of Alberta.