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Raiders hand Cougars a 4-1 loss

Evan Herman scored twice, while Carter Anderson and Hayden Pakkala also scored, as the Prince Albert Raiders topped the Prince George Cougars 4-1 on Saturday night.

It took just 1:01 for the Cougars to open the scoring on home ice, and it was a bit of a broken play that got things going. Entering the zone, Jaxsen Wiebe threw a centering pass in front for Ondrej Becher in the slot area. Becher fired a shot on goal that somehow beat Max Hildebrand from distance past his outstretched pad. The quick marker was Becher’s seventh goal of the season, and it gave Prince George the early 1-0 lead.

The Cougars nearly took a 2-0 lead at the eight minute mark of the first period, as Caden Brown was wide open in front to receive a pass from Chase Wheatcroft. Brown redirected a shot on goal, but Hildebrand made an early save of the game candidate, stretching from post to post to rob Brown in tight. A quick rebound shot was fired that went off the post and stayed out, and a third scoring chance on the play was blocked by Seth Tansem in front, keeping the score 1-0.

After putting shot after shot on goal in the opening frame, the Raiders finally found their first goal of the contest with 1:36 left in the first, and it came on their second powerplay chance of the contest. After a jam play in front of the net led to bodies crashing around the crease, the puck came loose in the low slot for Hayden Pakkala. Pakkala was able to fire a backhand shot past Ty Young, tying the game at 1-1 on the special teams opportunity.

After giving up a quick goal that opened the scoring, the rest of the period was dominated mostly by the Raiders, who outshot the Cougars 13-6 in the opening 20 minutes. 1-1 would be the score heading into the middle frame.

Much like the end of the first period, the Raiders had a lot more chances to find goals towards the end of the second, and they did just that. With 4:44 left in the middle frame, it was Carter Anderson who gave the Raiders their first lead of the night. After a faceoff win in the defensive zone, Anderson led a 2 on 1 rush into Cougar territory. Electing to keep the puck, Anderson sniped on far side over Young’s glove, giving Prince Albert a 2-1 lead with his eighth goal of the season.

With 2:29 to go in the second, captain Evan Herman added to that lead. Showing his speed in the neutral zone, Herman gathered a loose puck and worked his way in alone on a breakaway. With a Cougar defenceman chasing him down, Herman also fired a shot high past Young’s glove. The captain also picked up his eighth goal of the season, and it gave the Raiders a two goal cushion late in the second period.

A tally of 3-1 would be the green and gold’s lead after 40 minutes, and they also held a 20-18 edge in shots heading into the third.

In the final frame, Herman added his second goal of the night, scoring on another Raider man advantage, giving the visiting side a 4-1 lead just 3:43 into the period. That would be more than enough for Prince Albert, as 4-1 would stand as the final.

It was a solid outing for Hildebrand between the pipes, as the netminder stopped 28 of 29 shots in the win for Prince Albert, while Young stopped 26 of 30 in the loss for Prince George.

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