The Prince Albert Raiders (22-1-0-0) tied a franchise record on Friday night, earning their 15th straight win with a 7-3 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers at the Canalta Centre.
The previous 15-game win streak was during the 1985-86 season.
Brett Leason also tied modern WHL record. With two goals and two assists in the contest, Leason extended his point streak to 23 games. With online statistics dating back only to the 1996-97 contest, Leason tied Jeremy Reich of the 1999-00 Swift Current Broncos for the longest point streak to open a WHL season.
Parker Kelly had a pair of goals in the Raiders’ win. Brayden Pachal and Aliaksei Protas contributed with a goal and an assist each.
Early in the first, a returning Ozzy Wiesblatt opened the scoring. The Raider rookie recovered a puck in the corner that was freed up by Jakob Brook. Wiesblatt tried to get a pass across to Protas, but it was blocked. The Calgary product pounced on the rebound and deposited it into the back of the net at the 2:27 mark.
Midway through the frame, the Raiders added another. Sean Montgomery’s centering pass went through Parker Kelly and found Leason’s stick, who buried it into the empty cage at the 9:22 mark, making it a 2-0 game after the first.
In the second, the Raiders scored two quick goals to open the period. Just 41 seconds into the frame, Leason drew the attention of the defence behind the Tigers’ goal. He dropped a pass to Kelly, who scored into the empty side of the net.
Forty-nine seconds later, the Raiders found themselves shorthanded. Ian Scott cleared the puck from the behind the net, off the board and sprung Leason in on a breakaway. Leason snapped his shot five-hole to beat Jordan Hollett. The Calgary product’s fifth shorthanded marker of the year put the Raiders up 4-0.
The Tigers got one back right after the media timeout in the second. Logan Christensen drew the attention of both Raider defenders on the play and was separated from the puck. Josh Williams was following the play, picked up the puck, and beat Scott with 8:17 left in the second.
With 4.6 seconds to go, the Tigers thought they scored another. Hayden Ostir hit a puck in the air over his head, off Scott’s shoulder, and in. The goal was waved off on the ice for a high stick. After a short video review, the call on the ice was upheld.
Early in the third, the Tigers converted on a power play. With Brayden Pachal in the box, Bryan Lockner cut to the net. His initial attempt was stopped, but he was able to slip the rebound past Scott two minutes into the frame
The Tigers got back within one with 12:10 to play. Daniel Baker’s shot was turned aside by Scott, but the rebound found the stick of Ryan Jevne to make it 4-3.
After the media timeout in the period, the Raiders regained control of the game. Pachal’s shot from the point fooled Hollett. The Tigers goaltender made the save, but knocked the puck into his own net to put the Raiders up two again.
Less than a minute later, Kelly tallied his second of the game. He took a drop pass from Leason and wired a shot over Hollett’s shoulder, knocking the water bottle off the top of the net.
Protas rounded out the scoring about 30 seconds later with 7:39 to play. A quick transition found him on the right wing. The Belarusian snapped the puck past Hollett for his fifth of the season.
Scott shut the door the rest of the way, stopping all three shots faced after the media timeout. In total, the Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick made 26 saves to earn his 19th win of the year. Hollett stopped 24 saves in the loss, before being pulled after giving up the seventh goal. Mads Sogaard turned aside both shots he faced.
The Raiders continue their road trip on Saturday night in Cranbrook, BC against the Kootenay ICE (7-15-3-1). Game time is 8 p.m. CST at Western Financial Place.