By Ryan McCracken on October 7, 2017.
The Medicine Hat Tigers were out for vengeance on Saturday at the Canalta Centre, but the Prince Albert Raiders had other plans.
Raiders centre Jordy Stallard finished the evening with six points to lead Prince Albert to a commanding 6-1 victory, just one week after handing the Tigers a 4-2 loss in Saskatchewan.
Prince Albert’s strategy of clogging up the neutral zone in the opening frame prevented Medicine Hat from generating many quality scoring chances and led to a late power play goal off the stick of Stallard. The former Calgary Hitmen forward struck for his third of the year with Gary Haden in the box for hooking, sending the Raiders into the break with a 1-0 lead.
The defensive battle took a back seat to run-and-gun hockey in the second period, with Mark Rassell wasting no time setting the new pace. The Tigers captain broke in all alone and beat Raiders netminder Curtis Meger just seven seconds into the middle frame for his team-high fifth goal of the year. But it was the Raiders who took advantage of the end-to-end action.
After Cole Fonstad put his team back in the driver’s seat on a breakaway of his own, Raiders defenceman Brayden Pachal took Tigers sniper Max Gerlach into the corner and caught him in the face with a high slash.
Gerlach left the ice under his own power, but was bleeding profusely from the mouth. While Pachal was given a major and a game misconduct — outweighing the interference minor taken by Gerlach on the play — Prince Albert still came out of the mess on top. Raiders defenders Zack Hayes and Max Martin scored 30 seconds apart to stretch a three-goal lead in four-on-four action before killing off Pachal’s infraction to leave the ice after 40 minutes with their biggest lead of the year.
Gerlach returned for the third period with a full cage on his helmet and attempted put his team back in the contest, but the Tabbies were unable to sneak another puck past Meger and slipped to 3-3-0-0 on the year.
Parker Kelly extended Prince Albert’s lead midway through the third, chasing Tigers goaltender Jordan Hollett from the crease after striking for five goals on 19 shots. Duncan McGovern entered the game in relief of Hollett, but Kelly struck again on a power play three minutes later to send some of the 3,531 fans in attendance marching for the exits.
Meger took the win with a 25-save performance to push Prince Albert to 3-3-0-0 on the season.
The Tigers return to the ice at the Canalta Centre to host the Everett Silvertips on Wednesday. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m.
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