Raiders douse red-hot Oil Kings with 4-3 win

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald
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Raiders

A trio of power play goals and a 39 save performance in net lifted the Prince Albert Raiders to a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings on Wednesday at Rexall Place.

Backed by a solid effort up front, Raiders goalie Cole Cheveldave stopped a flurry of shots to put an end to the Oil Kings torrid 11 game winning streak.

Cheveldave was outstanding in his seventh straight appearance in net as the Raiders took advantage of a Red Deer Rebels 4-1 loss at the hands of the Medicine Hat Tigers to come within three points of the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot.

The offensively charged Oil Kings demonstrated why they lead the conference with 228 goals scored, pouring the shots on Cheveldave in the early going of the first period.

Cheveldave stood on his head to keep the Oil Kings off the score sheet as the Raiders were outshot by a wide 11-6 margin in the opening frame.

The Raiders would make the most of their chances as left wing Collin Valcourt converted on a power play opportunity, netting his 18th of the season to put his team ahead 1-0 going into the second period.

Just under three minutes into the second period, the Raiders surrendered the lead when Oil Kings centre Cole Benson beat Chelvedave to knot things up at ones.

Benson's early period marker was but a small blemish in an otherwise outstanding performance between the pipes for Cheveldave who did all he could to keep the game tied as the Oil Kings continued to press offensively.

At the other end of the ice, Oil Kings starting goalie Tristan Jarry had an easier time in net, facing just 13 shots through two periods of play.

As they did in the first period, the Raiders capitalized on their limited scoring opportunities, regaining the lead on the power play with centre Dakota Conroy's 21st  of the season midway through the second frame.

For the first time in three games, the Raiders took a two-goal lead off of Valcourt's second of the night as they entered the third period ahead 3-1. Conroy added an assist on to Valcourt's go-ahead goal, capping his first three-point game since Nov. 29.

Striking on the power play for the third time in four attempts, Raider centre Leon Draisaitl extended the lead to three four minutes into the third period but the Oil Kings were quick to respond with centre Henrik Samuelsson's 25th of the season 31 seconds later.

Samuelsson would cut the lead down to one, netting his second of the night on the power play with six minutes to go.

With Samuelsson's pair of third period goals lighting a fire under the Raiders feet, Cheveldave stood his ground, facing 13 shots in the third period as he hung on for the win, improving his record to 21-20-2.

The Raiders will have Thursday off as they prepare to take on the Regina Pats on Friday at the Art Hauser Centre.

RAIDERS NOTES: Not Dressed for the Raiders on Wednesday were Ryan Coghlan, Jayden Hart and Matteo Gennaro ... Raiders defenceman Josh Morrissey netted his 20th goal of the season on Tuesday becoming the second d-man in franchise history to meet the mark in a single season. Morrissey is just two goals shy of Emanuel Viveiros' record of 22 in the 1985-1986 season ... Viveiros is currently coaching Austria at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Viveiros tallied 321 points in four seasons with the Raiders ... The Raiders have not won two consecutive games since Dec. 30 after a 4-0 win over the Regina Pats at the Brandt Centre ... The Raiders have beaten every team in the Eastern Conference except for the Calgary Hitmen who lead the season series 0-3-0 ... Samuelsson engaged in his second fight of the season on Wednesday dropping the gloves with Raiders left wing Craig Leverton. Samuelsson's only previous fight this season was with Raiders centre Tim Vanstone on Oct. 15 at Rexall Place. 

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