The recipe for how to win on the road in hockey, starts with a disciplined game that keeps the other team from getting too many power plays. The Prince Albert Raiders (8-7-3-0) did not stick to that plan at all and the surging Portland Winterhawks (14-4) made them pay.
The Raiders actually came into the Moda Center on Sunday afternoon and put the Winterhawks back on their heels. They scored a power play goal in the early going and kept constant pressure on Cole Kehler in the Portland net, to the tune of outshooting the Hawks to the tune of 21-16 through two periods.
That fell apart as the Hawks scored a goal right after a P.A. power play nearly got the visitors a 2-1 lead of their own.
In the third period, the wheels fell off for Prince Albert, as they gave the Hawks 10 power plays. Portland scored on four of them to put the game away by a 6-1 score.
Portland’s power play went 5/12 overall, while Prince Albert’s went 1/6.
Cole Kehler was amazing when he needed to be in the first two periods and he stacked up his fourth one-goal allowed performance in five outings. He and the Hawks have now reeled off five straight wins.
Offensively, the Hawks were led by four points from Henri Jokiharju and two each from Cody Glass, Joachim Blichfeld and Brad Ginnell.
Ginnell, like Blichfeld, the night before, broke out of his scoring slump with two goals. Due to an injury and being mired on the fourth line in his return, Ginnell had not scored since October 14th.
The Raiders got on board first with a power play marker of their own from Jordy Stallard. Former Tri-City Americans defenseman Sergei Sapego opened up some room for Stallard by the right face off dot and the overage sniper buried a one-timer past a screened Kehler.
The Raiders then did an expert job of slowing down the potent Hawks in the neutral zone, not allowing them to enter the zone with speed.
Cody Glass nearly tied the game as he hit the post and banked the puck off of P.A. goalie Curtis Meger, but after a review the ruling was no goal.
The Winterhawks would tie it 5:32 into the second though as Blichfeld slipped a backhand pass off the boards and right onto the stick of Jokiharju for a one-timed goal.
The Raiders had many opportunities to take the lead back later in the second, with a five-on-three power play. Kehler and the Hawks turned them away though and Lane Gilliss found Brad Ginnell on the rush on the shift after the kill for the eventual game-winner.
The turn of events seemed to have its impact on the Raiders as they took about as many minor penalties as is possible to take in a period in the third.
After Spencer Moe and Brayden Pachal were given penalties in the third, Portland had a five-on-three advantage of their own. Cody Glass made them pay as Jokiharju slipped an astounding pass through two Raider defenders and right to an open Glass below the left face off dot for the one-timer.
Portland promptly went right back on the five-on-three as the Raiders took a bench minor.
The Winterhawks made them pay again as Skyler McKenzie slipped a pass through the crease and right to Glass at the back post. The goal was initially called McKenzie’s, though I would expect Glass to get the goal and his third point at some point as the replay made it look like it was his.
Regardless, Portland was up 4-1 and the Raiders were not over self-destructing.
After D-Jay Jerome and Vojtech Budik were both given double minors, the Raiders were down two men again. Glass would then get credit for this power play goal as he beat Meger again.
Ginnell added another power play goal off a feed from Brendan De Jong to put the game away.
Meger stood up well to the test as the Portland shooting gallery wired 18, third period shots and 34 in total. He stopped 28 of the 34.
The Raiders will continue their trip through the U.S. with a contest up in Kent against the Seattle Thundebrirds. The Winterhawks will try and extend their win streak to six with a win next Saturday vs the visiting Regina Pats.
-Kieffer Bellows saw his point streak end at 12 games as he failed to register one vs. the Raiders. He tied for the team lead in shots with Ty Kolle. Both of them had four.
-Alex Overhardt was 11/20 at the draw, while Jake Gricius was 7/10, Cody Glass was 4/7 and Skyler McKenzie was 6/11.
-McKenzie and Glass both have five-game point streaks going now.
-The 5/12 night moved Portland’s power play up to third in the league. It is now 28.6 percent.
-Kehler’s GAA is now an even 2.00 and his save percentage has gone up to 0.938. Both lead the WHL. He seems on track for goaltender of the month this November.
-Glass now has 30 points in 18 games and has moved up to eighth in the league in points. He’s tied for sixth in assists with 20.
-Jokiharju now has 23 points and is tied for third in the WHL for points among d-men.
-The game next Saturday is Portland’s last at home before they embark on their six-game trip through the Central Division November 21st through 29th.
-Portland is all alone in first now in the U.S. Division and still has one game in hand on the second place Tri-City Americans.