Thursday, 19 January 2012

Preview: Victoria at Prince Albert

It’s game number 5 of a 6 game eastern road swing for the Victoria Royals (14-27-2-3) who are in Prince Albert (15-27-1-2) to take on the Raiders Friday night.

With a win against Brandon and losses in Regina, Swift Current, and Moose Jaw, Victoria is 1-3 on their 6 game eastern road swing which concludes Saturday night in Saskatoon.  Pregame show at 4:45 on The Zone at 91.3 FM

SERIES:  Last Season Prince Albert won the only meeting 5-2 in Chilliwack.  The franchise is 2-2 in the last 5 season against the Raiders.

LAST GAME: The Royals have dropped their last 2, most recently a 2-0 loss in Moose Jaw Wednesday night. The Warriors latest acquisitions provided the scoring, James Henry in the first, and Cam Braes in the third.  Keith Hamilton was named 3rd star with 27 saves.  It was the first time Victoria had been shut out all season, now only scoring once in their last two.

Victoria lost 3 players to injury by the end of the second.  D Zach Habscheid took a hard hit from Quinton Howden into the boards, and F Tim Traber had his eye swollen shut in a fight with 6’4, Dallas Ehrhardt.  Both are Day to Day, put possible. Defenseman Jesse Zgraggen has an upper body injury after taking a check to the head from Dylan McIlrath.  As he waits for suspension from the league, McIlrath talks about the hit here:

Prince Albert has lost their last 3, the latest an 8-6 defeat in Saskatoon Saturday night.  The Raiders took a 3-2 lead into the second period when the Blades scored three times on four shots. Prince Albert twice got back to within a goal but couldn’t equalize.  Raiders 16 year old defenseman Josh Morrissey, had a goal and three assists.

STANDINGS:  Both teams have similar records, with 33 points each.  Victoria is 8th, 2 back of Seattle, but just one up on Prince George - who have 2 in hand.  Prince Albert sits last in the east, 14 points out of a playoff spot.

RAIDERS NUMBERS: The Raiders enter tonights contest with 6 days rest in between games.  A competitive 2 under .500 at the Art Hauser Centre, and winners of 5 of their last 10 games overall. 

Prince Albert gets the puck on net, with the 8th most shots on goal per game.  However, they've given up 21 goals in the last 3 games, second most overall - only the Royals have given up more.  Their power play is 10th to Victoria’s 15th, and both clubs Penalty Killing is near the bottom (19th, and 21st respectively).  Prince Albert has scored 11 short handed goals, good for second most – but have given up more short handed goals (12) than any team.
Mike Winther
THREATS:  Justin Maylan leads the team in assists (37) and points (56).  Chicago draft pick Mark McNeill is next with 47 points.  Since being acquired from Spokane, Anthony Bardaro has 6 points in 7 games.  Mike Winther leads the team in goals (22), and will play in the CHL Top Prospects game.  He ranked 26th among North American skaters for the draft.  16 year old defenseman Josh Morrissey has  24 points, including five goals, in 41 games.  Reargaurd Harrison Ruopp is a Phoenix draft pick with 96 penalty minutes.  Defenseman Tyler Yaworski is 2nd in the league in penalty minutes with 133.  Two seasons ago, netminder Cole Holowenko played a pair of games with the Chilliwack club.

For Victoria, Jamie Crooks leads the team in goals (23) and scoring with 45 points.  A story on Crooks here:  Logan Nelson is second in scoring (42), and 3rd in rookie scoring.  Hayden Rintoul is 10th among defenseman in points with 33.

DRAFTED/NHL SIGNED PLAYERS: For Victoria: D Tyler Stahl (Carolina, 6th rd 2010), D Jordan Fransoo (Ottawa, 7th rd 2011).  For Prince Albert: D Harrison Ruopp (PHX ’11), F Mark McNeill (CHI ’11).

TOP PROSPECTS:  Central Scoutings mid-term rankings of North American players positions Victoria’s Steven Hodges (55), and Logan Nelson (108). Mike Winthers or Prince Albert is ranked 26th. 

WHO'S OUT:  For Victoria: D Tyler Stahl, Upper body, 1 month+ has missed 42 games. D Jesse Zgraggen, Upper Body, D Zach Habscheid and F Tim Traber, Day to day, but possible.  For Prince Albert: D Tyler Hart, Lower body, expected back tonight after missing 10 games.  F Carson Perreaux, Upper body, day to day.

The Tri-City Americans traded D Riley Guenther (17) to the Prince Albert Raiders in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.

The Kamloops Blazers traded F Logan McVeigh (17) and a second-round pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft to the Prince Albert Raiders in exchange for F Brandon Herrod (20).

The Prince Albert Raiders traded G Eric Williams (18) and F Todd Fiddler (18) to the Spokane Chiefs in exchange for F Anthony Bardaro (19), G Luke Lee-Knight (18), and a fifth-round pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.