Raiders force Game 5 with win over Ice


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Winnipeg’s sprint to the second round of the WHL playoffs hit a major speed bump Wednesday night.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/04/2022 (397 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Winnipeg’s sprint to the second round of the WHL playoffs hit a major speed bump Wednesday night.

The visiting Ice, entering the game with a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal, dropped a 3-1 decision to the Prince Albert Raiders before 2,568 fans at the Art Hauser Centre.

Winnipeg will host Game 5 on Friday at Wayne Fleming Arena. Game time is 7 p.m.

Raiders defenceman Remy Aquilon (right) celebrates after scoring a power-play goal to give Prince Albert an early lead over the Ice on Wednesday. (Mark Peterson Media)

“We knew they gonna come out hard and they weren’t gonna roll over without a fight,” said Winnipeg defenceman Carson Lambos, whose club blitzed the Raiders 10-1 in Game 3.

“We know how hard they can be to play in this building and that’s what we got tonight. We went chin to chin with them and they ended up being a couple of bounces and that was a difference.”

Defenceman Remy Aquilon gave the hosts a 1-0 lead 1:53 into the second period.

The goal was P.A.’s first power-play marker of the series after going a combined 0-for-11 during the opening three games of the series.

“I thought it was a real tightly contested game,” said Ice head coach James Patrick. “I thought that they played real hard and our guys played real hard. I think the first goal was real big…. I thought we had chances. Their goalie was real good and I thought we passed up some shots as well.”

Eric Johnston increased the Prince Albert lead to 2-0 at 1:06 of the third period when his shot was redirected off blue-liner Tanner Brown’s skate and past Ice goaltender Daniel Hauser.

“I don’t think we stopped playing after that 2-0 goal,” said Lambos. “I think we kept kept going right down to the final buzzer… We got our looks and we couldn’t couldn’t put the puck in the net tonight. But I think we showed a little bit of resiliency with the pushback we had.”

Prince Albert starting goaltender Tikhon Chaika responded with a big effort after being pulled in Games 2 and 3 of the series.

The 18-year-old rookie from Belarus, who had his shutout bid spoiled by Mikey Milne’s power-play marker with 1:09 left in the third period, stopped 25 shots.

Sloan Stanick added an empty-net goal for P.A. in the final minute of regulation.

Hauser finished with 19 saves.

“You’re gonna have to go out and earn it,” said Patrick of Friday’s Game 5. “You’re gonna have to find a way to penetrate their defence. I thought once they got the two-goal lead, they just lined up on the blue-line and we didn’t do a good enough job getting pucks in and getting pressure. So we’re gonna have to be better in that area.”

The visitors welcomed 18-year-old forward Matt Savoie back into the lineup. Savoie missed Games 2 and 3 after suffering a lower-body injury in the series opener.

Winnipeg went 1-for-3 on the power play Wednesday and is now 8-for-15 in the series. The Raiders were 1-for-4.

THREE STARS: 1. Tikhon Chaika, Prince Albert (25 saves); 2. Remy Aquilon, Prince Albert (one goal); 3. Eric Johnston, Prince Albert (one goal).

Twitter: @sawa14

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.

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