Tyler Hinam’s second of the night was the game winner as the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies scored three times in the final five minutes of the third period to defeat the Prince Albert Raiders 6-3.
The two league champions gave the largely pro-Prince Albert crowd of 9,186 quite a show, each registering 33 shots on goal in a back-and-forth affair that went Rouyn-Noranda’s way late.
New York Islanders prospect Noah Dobson set up Hinam’s game winner and hit an empty net while Peter Abbandonato deflected a Joel Teasdale shot from the top of the circles past Ian Scott to seal the deal and improve the Huskies to 1-1.
“It was real tight out there, both teams were playing some desperate hockey and we’re happy we were able to grind it out and show some real character in the last few minutes to get it done,” said Dobson.
“I think we played a lot harder, we were winning a lot more battles,” added Cole Harbour, NS native Hinam in contrast to Rouyn-Noranda’s play in a 5-2 loss to the Guelph Storm on Saturday. “We weren’t on our heels as much, we were pushing the pace of the play and I think that really helped us.”
The Raiders certainly had their chances in the loss, hitting multiple goal posts and missing a pair of gaping cages before coming up short and falling to 0-2 ahead of a Tuesday night tilt against the Guelph Storm.
“I thought we deserved better, we should have won that game,” said Prince Albert head coach Marc Habscheid post-game. “We had a lot of chances, a lot of posts. I think we had five or six posts. I think we missed three or four open nets and it just didn’t go our way.
“I liked a lot about our game tonight.”
Prince Albert’s Parker Kelly struck iron in the opening minutes of play before Hinam gave Rouyn-Noranda the game’s first lead, sneaking a low percentage shot inside the near post past Scott at 4:34.
The Raiders would answer back though as Montreal Canadiens prospect Cole Fonstad won a battle along the wall before wrapping a puck around past Huskies netminder Samuel Harvey. Raiders captain Brayden Pachal gave the men in green their first lead with 6:13 remaining, taking a pass on the tape from Noah Gregor before one-timing a wrister past Harvey.
Rouyn-Noranda’s power play would come up big before the first expired though as Joel Teasdale camped out in the slot, batting a rolling puck past a sprawling Scott with 1:28 to spare, sending things to the first intermission knotted at two.
The two teams traded chances early in the second with the Huskies hitting a goal post of their own before the two sides swapped goals past the midway point.
Boston Bruins prospect Jakub Lauko did laymen’s work below the goal line to work a puck into the slot for a waiting Felix Bibeau whose quick release at 12:59 put the Huskies out in front 3-2.
Despite coming out on the losing end, first star Noah Gregor’s solid play continued late in the second period as the overage forward whiffed on his first shooting attempt before following up successfully on the second to beat a screened Harvey and tie the game at three.
Rouyn-Noranda led the shooting column 26-25 after 40 minutes but the two teams would play a tightly-checked third period where the Huskies came on strong in the late going.
Harvey denied Prince Albert forward Aliaksei Protas of a pair of high quality chances before Raiders veteran Sean Montgomery struck iron, denying P.A. of the lead.
Hinam’s game winner came thanks to the puck-carrying prowess of Dobson, who got the puck to the slot before dropping to Hinam coming down the middle for the finish with 4:32 left in regulation.
Hinam and teammate Rafael Harvey-Pinard earned second and third star recognition for the Huskies while Prince Albert’s Noah Gregor was the game’s first star with a goal and two assists.
Harvey picked up the win in goal with a 30-save performance opposite Ian Scott who turned aside 27 shots for the Raiders.
The 0-2 Raiders will need a win to stay alive on Tuesday, facing the 1-1 Guelph Storm at 7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT on Sportsnet.
• GAME CENTRE & HIGHLIGHTS