After a humbling loss Saturday in Lloydminster, the St. Albert Raiders quickly regained their feet the next day and competed for an impressive 6-3 victory over the Sherwood Park Kings at Akinsdale Arena.
The ability of his team to regain its composure so soon after the 9-2 drubbing by the Border City Bobcats (6-10-2) was exactly what the coaching staff was looking for, according to bench boss Sandro Pisani.
“Based on what we did yesterday, today was a better effort. We were looking at how they would respond against a better hockey team,” he said after the Raiders improved their first place north division record to 12-4-2 in the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League.
After the first period ended in a 1-1 tie, the second period quickly unfolded with a flurry of goals by the Raiders against an undersized Sherwood Park team, ranked third in the north at 10-5-2.
With the game heading into the third, and the score tilted towards the Raiders at 6-2, the odds were against the Kings climbing back into the game. However, forward Jayden Hart, who scored twice in the game, was quick to point out that no lead is safe in hockey, especially after the Raiders let a big lead slip away in the 7-7 season-opening draw against the Leduc Oil Kings (10-5-3).
“We have to keep the foot on the gas because they can come back really quick,” said Hart, the team’s top scorer with 29 points. “We kept going and got the win.”
The lopsided score, along with the hard fought victory, showed the effort the Raiders put on the ice.
“Overall I think we competed and our game and execution got better,” said Pisani. “We made a couple of adjustments when they came out hard, which allowed us to put the pucks out of the zone.”
Even though the Raiders gave up two one-goal leads in the game, they never got down on themselves.
“The morale on the bench was good. You don’t want any sag on the bench and I thought we responded,” said Pisani.
This weekend the Raiders host the Lethbridge Hurricanes (7-8-3) Saturday at 8 p.m. and the UFA Bisons (10-4-4) Sunday at 2:30 p.m.