Conroy red hot as Raiders prep for Oil Kings

Andrew Schopp
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Prince Albert Raiders right wing Dakota Conroy is red hot, riding a six-game point streak with goals in three straight games. He and the Raiders will look to snap a three-game losing streak as they host the Edmonton Oil Kings at the Art Hauser Centre on Wednesday. Herald photo by Perry Bergson 

Ever since scoring a hat trick on Nov. 23 against the Lethbridge Hurricanes, the points have been pouring in for Prince Albert Raiders right wing Dakota Conroy.

Conroy is riding a six-game point streak and has scored a goal in three straight games. He attributes his recent scoring prowess to a combination of confidence gained from that three-goal night and a little bit of recent puck luck.                                                          

"The pucks are going in for me right now," Conroy said. "I feel like before, I was getting a lot of shots and it wasn't going in and now it seems my shots are going in and I'm finding good areas."

Skating on a line with Raiders leading scorer, centre Leon Draisaitl doesn't hurt either, Conroy said. Draisaitl has tallied an assist on Conroy's last three goals and has a helper on all but two of Conroy's 13 total markers this season.

"Leon (Draisaitl) is getting me the puck a lot," Conroy explained. "He's one of the best passers I've ever played with. It's pretty crazy some of the passes he makes. I just try to find open ice and after that it's pretty much history, he just feathers it in there and hopefully I can get enough on it to get it passed the goalie."

Conroy will look to keep his streak going as the Raiders, back at home from a five-game road stand, take on the Edmonton Oil Kings at the Art Hauser Centre on Wednesday.

After dropping three straight games on the road, the Raiders hope to get back in the saddle with a healthy squad on Wednesday. The Raiders were without the services of defenceman Josh Morrissey and centre Mike Winther in the Raiders 4-3 loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday.  

"We had quite a few people sick and what not, we just need to always come prepared and respect our opponent," Conroy said of the lessons learned from their 2-3-0 road trip where the Raiders fell 3-1 to the league-worst Lethbridge Hurricanes on Friday. "In this league any team can beat anyone on any given night and we need to prepare ourselves. We've had a lot of sprints; times where we've been good and times we've been bad, we've got to be a little more consistent."

The Raiders have posted a record of 1-1-0 thus far versus the Oil Kings and will look to contain centre Henrik Samuelsson who leads the team with 33 points in 25 games. Samuelsson was selected by the Phoenix Coyotes 27th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and last week, the Swedish-American was invited to attend the U.S. World Junior Hockey Championship training camp.

The Raiders will also keep their eyes on Ottawa Senators prospect centre Curtis Lazar, who sits behind Samuelsson with 32 points and defenceman Griffin Reinhart who was selected fourth overall by the New York Islanders in 2012.

"They have a lot of high quality players," Conroy said of the Oil Kings who on Tuesday sit third in the conference with a record of 19-9-1. "They are an offensive team, we just have to prepare and stick to our system. If we can keep a good d-zone it means we'll have more opportunities in the offensive zone, if we can shut them down, we can take it over."

The puck drops at 7 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre when the Raiders take on the Oil Kings on Wednesday.

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