Prince Albert Raiders (5-18-1-0) at Medicine Hat Tigers (20-5-1-0)
Tuesday, Nov. 29 – 7 p.m. (Mountain) – Canalta Centre
Channels: Local Shaw SD; Shaw HD304; Shaw Direct Satellite HD Classic 120 or HD Advanced 620
The razor-sharp Medicine Hat Tigers will look to make it 10 wins in a row when the Prince Albert Raiders pay a visit to the Canalta Centre Tuesday night (7 p.m. Mountain) on WHL on Shaw.
Winners of nine straight contests, the Tigers have been furious through the month November going 10-1-0-0 to date. The lone loss of the month came at the hands of the Kamloops Blazers – a 5-2 defeat back on Nov. 4. Since that loss, the Tigers have gouged out nine consecutive victories, scoring 55 goals (6.11 goals per game) along the way, while only surrendering 22 tallies (2.44 goals against per game) at the other end of the rink.
As for the Raiders, they forge onward without top-tier defenceman Brendan Guhle, who was dealt to the Prince George Cougars in a blockbuster deal on Nov. 18. Having lost seven games in a row, the time is now to turn things around if the Raiders hope to make a push for the playoffs in the ever-competitive East Division.
This marks the second of four regular season meetings between the Tigers and Raiders. Friday night, the Tigers stormed into Prince Albert’s Art Hauser Centre and handed the hosts a 7-1 thumping. Max Gerlach provided some bite on offense, tallying a goal and two assists for the Tigers, while rookie goaltender Duncan McGovern made 22 saves between the pipes.
With 40 points to his credit, Tigers forward Mason Shaw (5G-35A) is only one point off the WHL scoring lead (held by Regina’s Sam Steel, with 41 points) and is a key catalyst on offense for Medicine Hat. That being said, there’s no shortage of dangerous weapons in the Tigers’ den, with Chad Butcher (11-26-37), Matt Bradley (14-17-31), David Quenneville (13-18-31), Steven Owre (6-25-31), Gerlach (18-9-27) and John Dahlstrom (12-14-26) all producing at rates better than a point-per-game.
With 134 goals scored through 26 games, the Tigers have scored the most of any WHL team to this point in the season. The Regina Pats sit second with 122 goals for in 23 games.
Czech import Simon Stransky leads the Raiders offense with 22 points (8G-14A) in 24 games to date. The 18-year-old speedster is producing a clip very similar to the career rate he enjoyed in 2015-16 when he finished the campaign with 62 points (19G-43A) in 62 contests.
Between the pipes, the Medicine Hat Tigers have hitched the wagon to Calgary Flames prospect Nick Schneider and it is paying dividends thus far. In 21 appearances, the 19-year-old product of Leduc, Alta., has secured a record of 18-2-1-0 with a 2.70 goals-against average and .905 save percentage. His 18 victories are good enough to lead the entire WHL.
When the Raiders dealt veteran Rylan Parenteau to the Tri-City Americans earlier this season, the guardianship fell to 17-year-old Ian Scott. An ‘A’ ranked goaltending prospect on NHL Central Scouting’s ‘Players to Watch’ List for November, the 6-foot-4, 169-pound product of Calgary is 4-11-1-0 with a 3.59 GAA, .899 SV% and one shutout this season.
Scott has shared crease time with Nicholas Sanders, who was acquired in the deal that sent Parenteau south. In 14 appearances, the 18-year-old Sanders has gone 2-7-0-0 with a 2.77 GAA and .904 SV%.
Tuesday marks the second of four contests between the Tigers and Raiders this season. The next meeting between the two clubs is set for Feb. 8 back at the Canalta Centre in Medicine Hat before the season series wraps at Prince Albert’s Art Hauser Centre on March 1.
Medicine Hat Tigers
Head coach: Shaun Clouston
Scoring leaders: C Mason Shaw (5-35-40); RW Chad Butcher (11-26-37); C Matt Bradley (14-17-31)
Goaltending leader: Nick Schneider (18-2-1-0, 2.70 GAA, .905 SV%)
Power play: First – 32.3 per cent
Penalty kill: Second – 85.2 per cent
Injuries: D Kristians Rubins (upper body, two to four weeks)
Prince Albert Raiders
Head coach: Marc Habscheid
Scoring leaders: LW Simon Stransky (8-14-22); C Austin Glover (6-7-13); C Sean Montgomery (6-6-12)
Goaltending leader: Ian Scott (4-11-11-0, 3.59 GAA, .899 SV%, 1 SO)
Power play: 22nd – 12.3 per cent
Penalty kill: 15th – 76.1 per cent
Nov. 25 – Medicine Hat (7) at Prince Albert (1)
Nov. 29 – Prince Albert at Medicine Hat
Feb. 8 – Prince Albert at Medicine Hat
March 1 – Medicine Hat at Prince Albert
WHL on Shaw schedule
Friday, Dec. 2 – Brandon Wheat Kings at Vancouver Giants
Wednesday, Dec. 7 – Calgary Hitmen as Saskatoon Blades
Friday, Dec. 9 – Brandon Wheat Kings at Edmonton Oil Kings