The Chilliwack Bruins lost 5-2 to the Prince Albert Raiders in a Thanksgiving Day matinee at Prospera Centre.
As they did in a 6-3 loss to Seattle on Friday, the home side held an early lead and faded late. The Raiders scored five straight in the second and third periods to erase a two-goal deficit and hand Chilliwack their second straight loss, dropping their regular season record to 3-3-0-0.
Chilliwack led 2-0 through 20 minutes in this one, thanks in large part to efficient penalty killing.
The speedy Raiders caused all sorts of havoc early, drawing back-to-back penalties on Roman Horak (hooking) and Jesse Pauls (high sticking). The Bruins PK neutralized the 15th-ranked Prince Albert power play, and opened the scoring with a short-handed marker at 6:57.
Brandon Manning didn’t get an assist on the play, but he should have. The Chilliwack captain did good work, hounding Mark McNeill into a turnover at the Bruins blueline. Horak picked up the puck and had no one between him and PA netminder Eric Williams. The Czech beat him with a five-hole backhander for his sixth of the season.
Raider defenceman Harrison Ruopp was a busy guy in period one, picking up three minor penalties for interference (twice) and spearing.
The Bruins made him pay on the third one, padding their lead with a power play goal by Ryan Howse. Again, Manning started the play with a rocket from the point that Williams couldn’t handle. Howse nabbed the rebound and, from a very sharp angle, roofed a backhander for his team and league-leading ninth of the year.
Prince Albert battled back in period two, led by scoring leader Brandon Herrod. The 19-year-old got the Raiders on the board at 9:39 with a great individual effort. Working off the right-wing boards, Herrod schooled Chilliwack defenceman Jesse Pauls one-on-one, pulling the puck from forehand to backhand before beating Bruins netminder Braden Gamble with a shot from the low slot.
The Raiders tied the game with 3:37 remaining in the middle frame, finally poking a hole in the Chilliwack penalty kill.
With 11 ticks left in a Tim Traber high sticking minor, ex-Vancouver Giant Sebastien Svenson pounced on a clearing attempt by Mitch Topping. The pride of Hvidovre, Denmark wired a wrist shot past Gamble for his fourth of the season, knotting the score at 2-2 heading to the third.
The final frame started with fisticuffs between Chilliwack’s Brendan Persley and Prince Albert’s Matthew Berry. The 17-year-olds gave it a good go at center ice, flailing at each other with wild rights. Neither player landed anything of significance and both got 10 minute misconducts.
On the scoreboard, the Raiders surged ahead at 10:04 on a goal by Austin Connor. It came on the power play, with Mike Forsyth serving two minutes for hooking, ex-Bruin James Bettauer earned the primary assist with a point shot that hit the end boards and bounced back in front of the Chilliwack net. Connor stuffed the loose puck under Gamble for his second of the season.
Justin Maylan added the insurance marker, scoring his second of the season with 2:19 remaining. and McNeill wrapped up the scoring with an empty net marker.
The Bruins hit the road for their next game, visiting the Everett Silvertips on Wednesday. Chilliwack is back at home Friday night (7:30 p.m.), hosting the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Centre.