It wasn’t meant to be like this. TheRaiders and Oil Kings headed into the night’s action as high powered offenses, scoring a lot of goals on their way to the third round matchup. Prince Albert had scored 39 goals while Edmonton had 34. This series had all the makings of being a shootout reminiscent of the 1980s when games would often have 10 or more goals scored in them.
The goaltenders had a lot to say about that as both Dylan Myskiw and Ian Scott set out to stop every puck headed their way. Scott was able to do that and if not for a miscue in the second period, the two teams might still be playing their low scoring affair.
“He’s a premier goalie. Sometimes when you don’t have your A-game, you need your goalie. He did that for us tonight,” Marc Habscheid told Jeff D’Andrea of PaNow.com. “He made some key stops and that’s what it’s all about. It’s a team game. Some games he’s not having his game and we need to get five or six. Tonight was his turn, and he helped us out a lot.”
The first period of action saw the two teams getting to know each other. The Oil Kings took three penalties to the Raiders one but neither team could get the special teams rolling. Myskiw and Scott only needed to make a small handful of difficult saves, most coming from the perimeter.
Neither team scored a goal in the opening frame and the teams headed down the tunnel looking to break the game open.
It was the host Raiders that got a lucky bounce in front of Dylan Myskiw to open the scoring.
As Ozzy Wiesblatt entered the Oil Kings zone, he was cut off and directed towards the far boards. With a single hand on his stick, he directed it towards the Oil King net. Unfortunately for the Oil Kings, Wyatt McLeod attempted to play the puck away from the crease area, instead directing it behind an unsuspecting Myskiw. Just under a minute and a half into the second period, the Raiders had the lead.
The 3289 fans in the building were happy to finally have something to cheer about.
The Raiders and Oil Kings traded chances through much of the rest of the second period. The Raiders had many one-on-one rushes that brought the crowd to their feet but Myskiw was equal to the task.
In the third period, the Oil Kings found their legs and put 11 shots on Scott looking to tie the game. They also found their shot-blocking skills, keeping the Raiders to just three third period shots.
Ian Scott had to remain steady between the pipes for the Raiders and he was able to do just that. His second shutout of the playoffs led the Raiders to a 1-0 win and a 1-0 series lead. It also gave the Raiders their sixth straight home ice win in the playoffs.
Some of the late game work Scott did to keep his SO bid safe pic.twitter.com/Lt0dEuhHX9
— Jeff D'Andrea (@Jeff_paNOW) April 20, 2019
Ian Scott now leads every goaltending category with nine wins, 1.64 goals against average, a .934 save percentage and two shutouts.
The Oil Kings were in the game from start to finish and the Oil Kings brass agreed.
“We pride ourselves on being a team that takes a lot of shots,” head coach Brad Lauer told OilKings.ca. “We got some shots but we didn’t get that second, third chance. We didn’t make it difficult, get in (Scott’s) eyes.”
“We can take a lot of positives though, we did a lot of good things,” said Lauer. “The goal they got bounced off us, bad break. A break here and there and we could easily have got it to overtime or possibly even won the game.”
The three stars on the night were Scott, Myskiw, and Wiesblatt. Scott finished his shutout with 26 saves while Myskiw had 23 saves in the loss. Noah Gregor had five shots to lead all players. Three Oil Kings had four shots apiece. Prince Albert won more faceoffs (34-29) and Dante Hannoun was the best Raider in the dot at 11-for-17.
Game 2 goes Saturday at 7 pm at the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert.