Raiders top Giants in 2019 WHL Final rematch

Raiders top Giants in 2019 WHL Final rematch

Photo by Nathan Rider. Prince Albert Raiders defender Landon Kosior handles the puck at a home game in the 2022-2023 season

The Prince Albert Raiders continued their road trip through the BC Division perfectly with a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Giants on Wednesday night at the Langley Events Centre.

It was the first game at the Langley Events Center for the Raiders since Game 5 of the 2019 WHL Finals, a 4-3 loss to Vancouver.

Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says Prince Albert played a strong game to take the two points.

“We came here and spoke about the opportunity that is being presented to us. We started well. I thought our details as a team were really good here tonight. We won a lot of fights and defended very well, I thought. We haven’t given up much. I felt this was one of the most complete games I’ve seen from our team.”

Truitt credits the Raider leadership group who provided a boost on the bench to help the club win.

“[Our composure] was good. I give a lot of credit to our leadership group. You mentioned that we want to control things, but we want to be aggressive, but be smart aggressive. I thought our leadership group did a good job on the bench to stay in control and have that really calming effect. If mistakes were made, they were responsible to each other. That’s where this lead takes over a bit. You’re not the one who has to fix everything and I’m happy with that.”

It would be Delta BC product Niall Crocker who opened the scoring for Prince Albert and gave a small segment of family and friends something to cheer for as he scored his 8th goal of the campaign at 6:45 in the first period. Landon Kosior and Erik Johnston

Vancouver would respond six minutes later as Skyler Bruce would hit the back of the net for the 8th time this season, his first time in a Giants uniform after being acquired from Winnipeg at the close. Ty Thorpe and Ty Halaburda would pick up the assists.

The Raiders power play would give Prince Albert the lead in the second half, Damian Palmieri would be sent off for a cross checking minor and just 13 seconds on the power play, Keaton Sorenson would strike for the 17th time this season to give the Raiders a Lead to gain 2:1 advantage. Aiden Oiring and Ryder Ritchie grabbed the assists on the go-ahead list.

Prince Albert beat Vancouver 18:3 in the second period.

After just 5:32 into the third period, the Raiders would score an important insurance goal of the 4v4 variant.

Landon Kosior would earn his second point of the competition with his 14th goal of the season to give the Raiders crucial breathing room. Sloan Stanick and Aiden Oiring collected the templates for the game.

Truitt says Kosior’s offensive contributions make him a key factor on Raider’s blue line.

“A few years ago we got input from a lot of people. But he stayed true to the course. We don’t have the most attacking group back there, but he keeps picking up points, he keeps fighting, he keeps leading our guys in the backcourt without missing a shot. He’s a special player who not only defends well, but also gets onto the ice quickly and plays on offense. He did a wonderful job here.”

After missing the empty cage on his first try, Evan Herman netted an empty net goal to thwart it for Prince Albert with his 12th of the season at the 18:39 mark of the third period

Max Hildebrand would earn the victory at the net for the Raiders by stopping 23 Vancouver shots.

Jesper Vikman made 39 saves from the net for Vancouver in the loss.

The Raiders get back in action Friday night when they travel to visit the Kamloops Blazers at the Sandman Center.

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