Raiders look to keep things going against Cougars

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald
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Raiders forward Darcy Zaharichuk fought off the check of Swift Current's Dakota Odgers during the Raiders 3-2 shootout win over the Broncos on Friday at the Credit Union i-plex. Photo by Steve Mah - Southwest Booster 

Back on track after a five-game losing skid, the Prince Albert Raiders will look to stay on the rails as they host the Prince George Cougars on Monday at the Art Hauser Centre.

With a healthy and complete roster, the time is now for the Raiders to claw their way back into playoff position and overcome their recent scoring woes. Suffering two consecutive shutouts at the hands of the Red Deer Rebels and Swift Current Broncos during their losing skid, the Raiders have scored just six goals in their last five games despite outshooting opponents 182-140 in that span.

Sitting ninth in the Eastern Conference with a .500 record, the Raiders have the Kootenay Ice in their sights as they look to begin their ascent up the standings. The Ice are clinging to the conference's eighth and final playoff spot with 54 points, six more than the Raiders.

With the Raiders posting a record of 3-7-0 in their last ten games, facing one of the league's weaker teams in the Cougars could be just the ticket to get a winning streak going as they return home from a 3-2 shootout triumph over the Broncos at the Credit Union i-plex on Friday.

The Cougars are all but mathematically  eliminated from playoff contention, sitting ninth in the ten-team Western Conference with a record of 18-26-7.

Of the Cougars few bright spots this season is former 40-goal scorer centre Todd Fiddler who leads the team with 56 points in 31 games. Fiddler, who posted 77 points with the Spokane Chiefs last year, was a high-profile acquisition by the Moose Jaw Warriors in the off-season, but parted ways with the team on Oct. 28.

Fiddler spent two seasons with the Raiders in 2011 and 2012, tallying 48 points in 105 games before being dealt by to the Chiefs. Fiddler's performance in his overage season is a typical occurrence in the major-junior ranks, using his wealth of league experience to light the lamp in his final year much like fellow 20-year-old and former Chiefs teammate Mitch Holmberg who leads the league with 85 points.

The Raiders triumphed over the Cougars in the two team's lone meeting last season, beating them 3-2 at the CN Centre.

While the Raiders look the heat up against the Cougars, centre Leon Draisaitl will try to stay red-hot. Despite the Raiders recent scoring troubles, the German import has tallied 12 points in his last 10 games.

After getting the weekend off to recharge their batteries, the puck drops at 7 p.m. when the Raiders take on the Cougars on Monday at the Art Hauser Centre.

sports@paherald.sk.ca 

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