Prince Albert Raiders goaltender Ian Scott led the Western Hockey League with eight shutouts this season and he picked up right where he left off in the Raiders’ playoff opener, making 21 saves in a 3-0 win over the visiting Red Deer Rebels.
Scott’s first career playoff shutout delivered a 1-0 lead for the Raiders in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
Prince Albert finished the campaign with a league-best 54-10-2-2 record to win the Scotty Munro Trophy as WHL regular season champions and they picked up where they left off in their playoff opener, getting just enough scoring to support Scott.
Dante Hannoun scored what turned out to be the winning goal in the final minute of the opening frame. Aliaksei Protas forced a turnover just inside the Rebels blue line before feeding Hannoun for a backdoor tap-in.
The Raiders added to their lead 8:49 into the second. Brayden Pachal’s point shot was stopped by Red Deer goaltender Ethan Anders but Ozzy Weisblatt found the loose puck and put it into the net.
Sean Montgomery capped the scoring later in the frame as the Rebels lost the overage forward in coverage and he was left all alone in front of the net to convert a centering pass from Justin Nachbaur.
The Raiders mustered just one shot on goal in the third period, but Scott made seven saves to preserve the shutout. Prince Albert outshot Red Deer 28-21 overall in the game.
The series continues with Game 2 Saturday night at the Art Hauser Centre.
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