Today’s Gameday Preview: Raiders @ Blades (Prince Albert leads 3-2)

The top two teams in the WHL’s Eastern Conference square off in the first elimination game of their hard-fought series. The Prince Albert Raiders have a three games to two lead over the Saskatoon Blades heading into Game 6.

The home team has won each of the previous five games in this series, and the Blades hope to continue that trend in today’s game. With a Blades win the teams will head to Prince Albert for the penultimate game of the series, a sudden-death winner take all Game 7.

Should the Raiders hand the Blades their first home-ice defeat of the playoffs, they would move on to face the Edmonton Oil Kings in the Eastern Conference Final.

Dante Hannoun (photo-raiderhockey.com)

The Raiders are led by a trio of forwards, each of which is in the top 10 in playoff scoring. Dante Hannoun (6G, 5A) Noah Gregor (4G,6A) and Brett Leason (3G, 7A) are the engines that drive the Raiders semi-truck. They are also backstopped by one of the best goaltenders in the WHL, if not the CHL. Ian Scott has been nothing short of amazing, posting a 7-2 record and a stellar 1.67 goals against average. his .933 save percentage also leads the league.

The Blades though are no slouch. They have Max Gerlach (6G,2A), Dawson Davidson (0G, 8A) and Kirby Dach (5G,2A) to counter the Raiders. Nolan Maier has also provided excellent netminding for the Blades, he sports a 6-3 record to go with a 2.61 goals against average and .911 save percentage.

Nolan Maier

The series has been decidedly chippy, and the coaches have also gotten into a war of words over perceived diving and headshots as well as providing some entertaining moments.

The fans have also been involved in some heated exchanges, with each fan base accusing one another of performing poorly towards visiting fans.

Tune into the game on WHL Live or on one of the radio stations that cover the teams.

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