MEDICINE HAT, AB – A second period lead quickly turned into a defensive nightmare for the Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday night, dropping their second meeting of the season against the Prince Albert Raiders 6-1.
It was a fairly ho-hum opening period for both teams until the 13:12 mark, when Tigers centre Gary Haden was sent to the box for hooking.
That gave Prince Albert their first power play of the game, with WHL vet Jordy Stallard finishing off a pretty passing play to put the Raiders ahead 1-0.
In the dying seconds of the period, Tigers forward Jaeger White came within centimetres of tying the game as he rang one of the crossbar as the buzzer sounded.
It was a lightning quick response from Medicine Hat in the second however, with David Quenneville springing Mark Rassell on a breakaway and going top-shelf just seven seconds into the period for his sixth of the season.
Less than two minutes later, Prince Albert’s Cole Fonstad picked up the puck on left wing, zooming past Quenneville, and sniping on Jordan Hollett to give the Raiders a 2-1 lead.
Things took a turn for the ugly near the midway mark of the period, when Tigers forward Max Gerlach and Raiders defenceman Brayden Pachal got tied up below the goal line.
Gerlach was called for a minor penalty for the charge, but Pachal swung his stick and struck the third-year Tiger in the mouth.
Pachal was given a game-misconduct penalty, while Gerlach returned to the game in the third period wearing a full cage.
While four-on-four, Raiders defenceman Zack Hayes ripped a wrist shot through traffic, beating Hollett and giving Prince Albert a 3-1 lead with 7:22 left in the second.
That Raiders lead was boosted to 4-1 only 30 seconds later, as Max Martin dangled his way through the Tigers defence and scored his second of the season.
Medicine Hat had a handful of chances late in the period, but trailed 4-1 heading into the final 20 minutes of regulation.
The Tigers’ defensive struggles continued over to the third, with Stallard sending a cross-ice pass to Parker Kelly, who tipped it into the back of the net with 11:00 left in the game.
That goal spelled the end of the evening for Hollett, who was pulled in favour of Duncan McGovern after allowing five goals on 19 shots.
That didn’t stop the bleeding however, as the Raiders made it a 6-1 contest on the power play thanks to Kelly’s second of the period with 7:32 remaining.
Prince Albert ran out the clock from there, rolling to a 6-1 victory on the road and ending the Tigers’ undefeated record at the Canalta Centre.
Medicine Hat outshot the Raiders 26-20 after three periods, with Prince Albert netminder Curtis Meger making 25 saves.
Jordy Stallard had his best game of the season for the Raiders with one goal and six points, while Rassell was the lone goal-scorer for the home side.
The Tigers continue their home stand on Wednesday evening, as they face the Everett Silvertips at 7:00 pm.
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