McBride lifts Raiders to 3-2 shootout win

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald
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After a shaky start between the pipes on Sunday, Nick McBride bounced back to lift the Prince Albert Raiders to a 3-2 shootout victory over the  Swift Current Broncos on Friday at the Credit Union i-plex.

Improving to 2-3-1 in the season series with the Broncos, the Raiders triumphed over the East Division rivals in their own building for the first time this season, snapping a five-game losing skid.

After allowing four goals on 19 shots against the Broncos on Sunday at the Art Hauser Centre, McBride stopped 37 of 39 shots and blanked all three shootout participants to clinch his fifth career WHL victory.

Coming off his third shutout of the season against the Raiders on Sunday, Broncos starting goalie Eetu Laurikainen kept the Raiders two-game scoreless drought going as the provincial rivals outshot the Raiders 12-6 in the scoreless opening period.

Broncos centre Jay Merkley, who netted a pair of goals on Sunday, got things going with his 22nd of the season just under five minutes into the second period.

The Raiders scoring drought came to an end midway through the second frame when left wing Collin Valcourt scored his first goal of 2014 to tie the game.  

Raiders centre Dakota Conroy ended a scoring drought of his own, scoring his first goal since Dec. 15 on the power play with less than two minutes to go to give the Raiders a 2-1 lead going into the third period.

Keeping things tight as his team outshot the Raiders a modest 9-8 in the third period, Broncos coach Mark Lamb pulled Laurikainen for the extra-attacker in a last ditch effort to tie the game. Shorthanded, the Raiders surrendered the tying goal off the stick of Broncos centre Graham Black with 1:07 to go to force overtime.  

Both teams exchanged blows in overtime as Laurikainen stoned Raiders centre Leon Draisaitl on a breakaway opportunity in the dying seconds of the scoreless extra-frame.

Draisaitl would not be denied in the shootout however, netting the lone goal as McBride stood his ground to clinch the Raiders third shootout victory of the season. 

The Raiders will have the weekend off as  they prepare for a rare tilt against the Prince George Cougars on Monday at the Art Hauser Centre.

RAIDER NOTES: Not dressed for the Raiders on Friday were Brendan Guhle, Tim Vanstone and Gage Quinney ... Shutout their last two games going into Friday's tilt, the Raiders had scored just five goals in their last four games ... Going into Friday's game, the last time the Raiders scored was in the third period of a Jan. 18 tilt against the Regina Pats at the Art Hauser Centre ... The Raiders post a conference-low 561 penalty minutes going into Friday's tilt, the second lowest total in the league. .. The Raiders post a record of 16-1-0 when leading after two periods and are 16-6-0 when they strike first on the scoreboard. 

Organizations: Raiders, Art Hauser Centre, Credit Union East Division

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