Blades Bounce Warriors With Strong Third Period

PHOTO COURTESY: Steve Hiscock

Moose Jaw scored three times early in the third period to turn a tie game into a 5-2 decision

The Blades let a few minutes in the third period cost them the game on Tuesday night in Saskatoon. The Warriors scored three times in a span of 2:07 early in the third period to turn a 2-2 game into a 5-2 decision, with Brayden Point’s 3-assist night helping lead the way.

It had been a while since these teams met as the Blades and Warriors clashed for the first time since early November. There wasn’t much of a feeling out period, as shots were flying and chances were happening early. The Blades had two good chances in the first 8 minutes with a Nick Zajac shot-pass toward the net being turned aside and an Ayrton Nikkel blast also being stopped by Warriors goaltender Zachary Sawchenko. After those attempts the Warriors generated their own good looks with Tyler Brown firing from the slot with 11:58 to play and Bryson Gore being turned aside by Troy Trombley seconds later, with the big Blades goalie making a great stop with his glove on the play. Following some more back and forth play, the Blades were able to open the scoring at 14:39 when Connor Sanvido sent a slow pass toward the net and a hard-charging Logan Harland was able to tip it home off the post and in to make it 1-0. But the lead didn’t last terribly long with a Jesse Forsberg shot from the point beating a screened Trombley at 16:04, making it a 1-1 game. Neither team would find the net in the final 3:56 of the period as it headed to the intermission sitting at 1-1 with the shots 11-8 for Saskatoon.

The second period started off with a big early save by Trombley as he reached his big left pad out to rob a Warrior beside the game, keeping the game tied up. Then the offence came for Moose Jaw when Tanner Eberle grabbed a puck after a drive through the slot by Brayden Point, and lifted a shot through Trombley to make it 2-1 Moose Jaw. But just like in the first period, the lead in the game didn’t last long. Saskatoon tied it up at 2 at 6:20 with Nikita Scherbak gathering a loose puck behind the net, circling it out and sliding it to Harland for the tap-in and his second of the game. The assist for Scherbak gave him a 10 game assist and point streak. Scherbak nearly added a goal late in the period while shorthanded, as he grabbed the biscuit, walked around Reid Zalitach at the Warriors blueline and nearly beat Sawchenko, but the goalie kept it out to keep it 2-2 through 40 minutes. Shots were 11-6 in the period for a two-period total of 22-14 for Saskatoon.

The third period didn’t start the way the Saskatoon Blades would have liked. Sam Fioretti made it a 3-2 game only 1:41 into the period, scoring his 15th of the season as he just touched a puck before it trickled underneath Troy Trombley and into the net in slow motion. The lead was extended to 4-2 just under a minute later when Josh Uhrich finished off a centering pass from Ben Duperreault. The onslaught continued for the Warriors as they made it 5-2 at 3:48 when a seeing-eye blast from Alexey Sleptsov found the back of the net through a crowd on the PP for his 3rd of the year. Saskatoon would try and push back as Ryan Graham tried a hard blast from the wing shortly after the 5-2 goal, only to be turned aside by Sawchenko. The Moose Jaw goaltender had the answer for a Scherbak centering pass to Logan Harland with 8:25 to play, too, denying #18 of his first-ever WHL hat-trick. The period would continue to wind down before some rough stuff with 14 seconds remaining. That’s when Reid Zalitach rammed Nick Zajac hard into the boards behind the Moose Jaw net, causing pushing a shoving and some misconduct’s. In the end the clock wound down, with the Warriors walking away the victors with a 5-2 win. Saskatoon held the edge on the shot clock in the defeat at 33-25, going 0 for 3 on the PP and 2 for 3 on the PK.

The Blades next game goes this Friday with it being Critters Pucks ‘N Paws night against the Kootenay Ice!

 

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