Regina, SK – The Prince Albert Raiders (8-29-1-1) started out the New Year with a 7-2 loss to the Regina Pats (25-3-6-1) on Sunday evening at the Brandt Centre.
With the loss, the Raiders fell in both legs of the home-and-home series with the Pats.
The Pats jumped out to a quick lead when Austin Wagner scored 98 seconds into the contest. With 6:04 to play in the first, Riley Woods made it a 2-0 game. Despite giving up two goals, the scored could have been worse if not for Nicholas Sanders. He was superb in the first period, stopping 22 of 24 shots faced.
In the second, the Raiders cut the Pats’ lead in half. A rebound off of Loch Morrison’s point shot bounced of Cavin Leth and past goaltender Max Paddock, making it a 2-1 game. However, the Pats responded with two goals before the end of the period. Nick Henry scored on the power play, while Wagner beat Sanders on a breakaway.
Adam Brooks gave the Pats a four-goal advantage 55 seconds into the third period to make it a 5-1 game. Midway through the third, captain Tim Vanstone took advantage of an odd bounce off the end boards and buried his sixth goal of the season. With 7:12 remaining, Bryan Lockner jumped on a rebound to give the Pats a 6-2 lead. Braydon Buziak added a goal with four seconds remaining to round out the scoring at 7-2.
Sanders had an extremely busy night in the crease for the Raiders. He finished the game with 65 saves in a losing effort. Max Paddock picked up his first career WHL win with a 30-save performance.
The Raiders return to the Art Hauser Centre on Tuesday night to take on the Moose Jaw Warriors. Puck drop is 7 p.m.