January 19th, 2022

Raiders take one from the Canes


By Dale Woodard on January 15, 2022.

The game was there for the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

But with a second-period lull and two late surrendered goals, it was the Prince Albert Raiders who instead did the taking en route to a 5-1 win over Canes in Western Hockey League play Friday night at the Enmax Centre.

After a close first period, the Raiders got goals from Sloan Stanick and Reece Vitelli in the final 5:10 of the second period to grab a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.

The Canes attempted a third period comeback, but the Raiders calmly closed the door as Stanick added his second of the game 6:29 into the third before Eric Johnston added a shorthanded empty netter to round out the scoring.

With the win, the Raiders move two points ahead of the Canes in the Eastern Conference standings, improving to 14-17-1-1 nd into ninth place, while Lethbridge drops one game back under .500 at 13-14-2-0.

New Hurricane Tyson Laventure scored against his old team for his sixth of the season and his first with Lethbridge after Raider Keaton Sorensen opened the scoring late in the first.

But four unanswered goals paced the Raiders to the win.

“I thought the first period was a good period,” said Hurricanes head coach Brent Kisio. “I thought both teams battled and it was high paced period. I thought we were playing pretty hard and Prince Albert was playing hard as well. They just stuck with it better than us. In the second period they came out hard again and I thought our momentum sort of dropped a bit and we turned pucks over more than we should have and Prince Albert took the game.”

The Raiders opened the scoring late in the first period when Cale Sanders was able to swat a loose puck over to Sorensen, who tipped his seventh of the season past Hurricanes goaltender Bryan Thomson for a 1-0 lead at the 14:02 mark.

The Hurricanes got it back early in the second on Laventure’s goal 1:30 into the second, but Stanick’s first of the game stood up as the winner and Vitelli added another as Prince Albert took over.

“Anytime you give up a goal late in the period it’s hard rebound from, especially when give up two.” said Kisio. “I thought the game was right there for us. We just had to stick with it. We need some of our older guys to step up more than they did tonight to play a bit of a harder game.”

The Hurricaned nearly pulled to within one early in the third with Raiders defenceman Remy Aquilo off for high sticking, but in a wild crease scramble with goaltender Tikjon Chaika sprawled out, the puck somehow stayed out as Canes forward Ty Nash was unable to shovel it home.

The Hurricanes nearly got another one back with a little under five minutes left when Liekit Reichle intercepted a clearing attempt and fed Hayden Smith to the left of the Raiders goal, but Smith’s chance rolled past Chaika, through the crease and stayed out.

“Overall as a team we just weren’t good enough tonight,” said Laventure. “We didn’t really bring our best game at all and we have to be better the next two games this weekend.”

Laventure managed the sole goal for the hosts again his old team, but still gave up two points to remain in 10th in the Eastern Conference tied with the Regina Pats.

“Obviously I would have liked to have beaten those guys. It was alright to get a goal, but at the end we didn’t get the win and that’s what matters the most.”

Laventure was one of four new players getting in their second game with the Hurricanes that includes defence man Ross Stanley and forwards Smith and Reichle

“They’re playing some good hockey and will get used to our systems,” said Kisio. “They’re only going to get better and better. We could have used a little bit more from all of them tonight, but that’s the rest of our team. We weren’t very good for 60 minutes tonight and we have to be better.”

Thomson stopped 22 of 36 shots, while Tikhon Chaika kicked out 22 of 23.

The Hurricanes were 0-for-3 on the powerplay, while the Raiders went 0-for-1.

Friday night’s announced attendance was 2,492.

The Hurricanes are in Medicine Hat to take on the Tigers tonight at 7 p.m.

They are back at the Enmax Centre Sunday at 6 p.m. when they entertain the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Notes: On Friday, the Hurricanes announced the signing of 2005-born goaltender Brady Smith to a WHL Standard Player agreement.

Smith, 16, was drafted by the Hurricanes in the sixth round and 123rd overall in the 2020 WHL Prospects Draft.

The Cloverdale, B.C. product has appeared in 13 games this season with the Yale Hockey Academy U18 Prep team where he had posted a 9-2-1 record with a 2.51 goals against average and a .911 save percentage (SV%) along with one shutout.

Last year, the six-foot-one, 175-pound netminder posted a 1.55 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in 17 games with Yale during his draft year in 2019-2020.

That season, Smith posted a 13-2-0 record during the regular season before recording a .929 save percentage in the playoffs.

In 2019-2020, he was also named the CSSHL U15 Top Goaltender after posting league best marks in both goals against and save percentage.

Smith joins fellow Yale Hockey Academy alumni Logan Wormald and Nolan Viesner as well as Noah Chadwick, Dustin Renas and Zach Bansley as the Hurricanes signed 2005-born players.

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