Hitmen Struggles Continue

Candice Ward/Photo

They were right there until the final 20.

Prince Albert skated away with an 8-4 win over the Hitmen Tuesday night at the Art Hauser Centre, as the Hitmen continue to struggle early on in the season.

Mark Kastelic, Zach Huber, Luke Coleman and Dakota Krebs all scored for the Hitmen but the four goals were not enough. Goaltender Jack McNaughton ended with 30 saves in the loss.

The Raiders saw seven different players find the back of the net with Brett Leason scoring a pair and chipped in with a two assists to lead the charge. Sergi Sapego, Zack Hayes, Jermey Masella, Justin Nachbaur, Sean Montgomery and Carson Miller rounded out the scoring for the home side. Donavan Buskey finished with 20 saves for the win.

The Raiders would jump out to a quick 3-0 lead after the first 20 minutes, as each goal they scored came six minutes apart from one another. But the Hitmen would claw their way back with two quick goals in the second stanza as Kastelic would get things going, finishing off a pretty passing play for his sixth of the season.

Huber would then fire a quick wrist shot off the faceoff in the Raiders end just a minute later to bring them within one. Just when momentum was on their side, a bad bounce off a Hitmen stick in front changed directions and found its way in the net to give the Raiders a two-goal lead yet again.

The Hitmen would continue to push despite the unlucky break and  were rewarded for their efforts as Coleman stuck with the play and was able to squeeze one by to cut the lead to one again. Rookie forward Tye Carriere picked up an assist on the play for his first career WHL point.

The Raiders would add another with just over a minute left in the frame to take a 5-3 lead into the final 20 minutes. That’s when the game would get away from the Hitmen, as Prince Albert would score three more goals, including a powerplay and shorthanded marker to close the game out.

Krebs would get one back late on the powerplay but that was as close as they would get.

There will be little time for the Hitmen to regroup as they return to action Wednesday night in Saskatoon for the third game in four nights. The tilt will be the second meeting of the season between the clubs and only the second game of a five-game road trip for the Hitmen.

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