Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Leason, Scott put Raiders a win away from a party like 1985

Brett Leason scored the only goal of Game 4 of the WHL final.
    Brett Leason and Ian Scott took a big step towards cementing their respective statuses as Prince Albert Raiders legends.
    On Wednesday night at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, B.C., Leason scored the only goal in Game 4 of the WHL Championship series against the Vancouver Giants and Ian Scott made 36 saves to give the Raiders a 1-0 victory before 4,626 spectators.
    With the win, Raiders took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Raiders will try to close things out and win their first WHL title since 1985 in Game 5 on Friday at the Langley Events Centre with a 7:30 p.m. start local time.
    After winning the WHL crown in 1985, the Raiders moved on to capture the Memorial Cup.
    If the Raiders win on Friday, they will be flying home to Prince Albert with the Ed Chynoweth Cup in hand as WHL champions on Saturday.
    The Raiders and Giants entered the third period of Wednesday’s game locked in a 0-0 tie.
    The Raiders broke through on the scoreboard at the 4:21 mark of the third, when defensive defenceman Jeremy Masella and import left-winger Aliaksei Protas combined to spring Leason into the Vancouver zone on a breakaway.
    Leason snapped a shot on net that Giants standout netminder David Tendeck got a piece of but couldn’t prevent from entering the Vancouver goal.  That tally stood up as the winner in a 1-0 Raiders victory.
    During the regular season, Leason broke out to achieve star status leading the Raiders in scoring with 36 goals and 53 assists for 89 points appearing in 55 games. The Calgary, Alta., product, who played for Canada at the last world juniors, posted a plus-55 rating in the plus-minus department.
Ian Scott made 36 saves to pick up a shutout in Game 4 of the WHL final.
    With his goal on Wednesday, Leason has recorded points in his last seven straight games posting seven goals and four assists over that time. In his 19 appearances with the Raiders in this post-season, Leason leads the team in scoring with 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points, while posting a plus-nine rating.
    Scott stoned the Giants, when they played what was their best game of the WHL Championship series.
    The shutout was Scott’s second of the WHL final and fifth of the current post-season. The Calgary, Alta., product, who also played for Canada at the last world juniors, became just the fifth goalie in the history of the WHL to record five or more shutouts in one post-season.
    Scott, who has an NHL entry-level contract signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs, has had a sensational regular season with the Raiders posting a 38-8-3 record, a 1.83 goals against average, a .932 save percentage and eight shutouts.
    His goals against average, save percentage and shutout totals were all regular season club records.
    Scott has appeared in all of the Raiders 20 playoff games to date posting a 15-5 record, a 1.83 goals against average and a .931 save percentage to go with his five shutouts.
    With Wednesday’s win, the Raiders match their team record for most wins in one WHL post-season at 15 first set back in 1986. The Raiders played through a 10-game round robin under the format that was used in the 1986 WHL post-season.
    After the Raiders posted a convincing 8-2 victory in Game 3 on Tuesday night at the Langley Events Centre, the Giants came out with a lot of fire in the first period of Wednesday’s contest holding a 15-9 edge in shots on goal. The hosts’ biggest chance to go ahead came on a short-handed breakaway by star overage centre Davis Koch late in the frame.
Brett Leason has had a stellar season for the Raiders.
    Kock tried to pick a corner of the Prince Albert net, but he was turned away due to a shoulder save by Scott.
    The second period was fairly evenly played with the Raiders holding a 12-10 edge in shots on goal.
    Vancouver’s best chance to score in the frame came from import centre Milos Roman, who fired a shot just over top of the Prince Albert net on a breakaway opportunity.
    Raiders import defenceman Sergei Sapego had a breakaway late in the second, but his shot was smothered up by Tendeck.
    Early in the third, Scott made a sprawling pad save on Giants winger Jadon Joseph to keep the game scoreless.
    That set the stage for Leason to score the game’s only goal.
    Scott continued to shut the door after the Raiders took the lead. He lunged across the crease of the Prince Albert goal to rob Giants defenceman Alex Kannok Leipert with a glove save.
    The Giants held an 11-5 edge in shots on goal in the third period.
    Tendeck turned away 25 shots to take the setback in goal for the Giants in a valiant effort.
    The Raiders won Wednesday’s game without the services of offensive defenceman Max Martin, who sat out with an undisclosed injury for a second straight contest. Martin was injured in the second period of the Raiders 4-0 win in Game 2 last Saturday, when he took an awkward fall into the boards.
    Leason and Scott are a couple of the big cogs who have helped the Raiders have a magical campaign. The Raiders topped the WHL regular season standings with a 54-10-2-2 record and were rated second in the final CHL Top 10 rankings.
    Entering the current post-season, the Raiders hadn’t won a playoff series since 2005.
Ian Scott is going to go down as an all-time great in Raiders history.
    Vancouver finished second overall in the WHL with a 48-15-3-2 mark and was rated sixth in the final CHL Top 10 rankings. Coming into the current post-season, the Giants hadn’t won a playoff series since 2010.
    With the Raiders having won three straight games in the WHL final, the Giants are facing elimination for the first time in this year’s post-season. They face the daunting task of needing to win three straight games to win the WHL title.
    If needed, Games 6 and 7 of the WHL final will be held Sunday and Monday respectively back at the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert.
    The Giants aren’t finished, but they face a major challenge just to win on Friday to extend the series to a Game 6.
    The Raiders and their faithful back in Prince Albert can almost taste and already envision their biggest victory celebration since 1985.

Storm holds off 67’s, evens OHL final 2-2

    The Guelph Storm built a big lead and then held off a furious comeback attempt by the Ottawa 67’s to even the Ontario Hockey League Championship series.
    On Wednesday at the Sleeman Centre in Guelph, the Storm and 67’s kept 4,983 spectators on the edge of their seats. After defenceman Hudson Wilson gave the 67’s a 1-0 lead at the 4:48 mark of the first period, the Storm responded with four straight goals to take a 4-1 advantage at the 13:34 mark of the second period.
    The 67’s tried to mount a rally, but the Storm ultimately held on for a 5-4 victory. With the win, the Storm evens the best-of-seven OHL final 2-2.
Game 5 is set for Friday in Ottawa.
    After Wilson gave the 67’s the early lead, Nate Schnarr and Alexey Toropchenko replied for Guelph to give the host side a 2-1 advantage heading into the first intermission.
    Toropchenko potted his second of the contest at the 6:46 mark of the second period, and Nick Suzuki netted his 15th goal of the post-season at the 13:34 mark of the second to put the Storm up 4-1.
    Lucas Chiodo scored for the 67’s with 1:38 remaining in the second to cut the Storm lead to 4-2.
    At the 2:28 mark of the third, Liam Hawel tallied for the Storm on the power play to increase the host side’s edge to 5-2.
    Tye Felhaber scored a power-play goal for the 67’s with 3:55 remaining in the third to trim Guelph’s lead to 5-3. With less than five seconds to play in the third, Kyle Maksimovich scored for the 67’s when they had their netminder pulled to round out the 5-4 final in favour of the Storm.
    Anthony Popovich stopped 30 shots to pick up the win in goal for the Storm. Cedrick Andree turned away 19 shots to take the setback in the 67’s goal.
    The 67’s were without star goaltender Michael DiPietro, who was injured in Ottawa’s 4-3 victory on home ice in Game 2. DiPietro is reported to have a high ankle sprain.

    If you have any comments you would like to pass along about this post, feel free to email them to
    If you like what you see here, you might want to donate to the cause to keep independent media like this blog going. Should you choose to help out, feel free to click on the DONATE button in the upper right corner. Thank you for stopping in.