Blades Buck Losing Streak

The Saskatoon Blades helped ring in the New Year with a streak-snapping win over the Broncos. Leading-scorer Nikita Scherbak netted a pair of goals as the Blades defeated the Broncos 6-3 on Wednesday afternoon.

Saskatoon had some good chances early in the game, with the shots sitting at 3-3 through only 1:23. Right at the three minute mark it was a Dylan Busenius point shot that almost opened the scoring as it was tipped just wide by Nick Zajac. There was then a big hit in the scoreless game as Clayton Kirichenko lowered a shoulder on Dakota Odgers, with Odgers dropping the mitts seconds later to answer back. After a very strong penalty kill, including 44 seconds of 5 on 3 time, the Blades answered back at even strength to open the scoring. Ayrton Nikkel took a feed from Nikita Scherbak at 13:41, walked down the left wing after pinching in off the point and fired one past Broncos goalie Landon Bow for a 1-0 Blades lead. Saskatoon generated more good chances late in the frame, including a baseball swing type attempt from Brett Stovin, but the Nikkel goal was the only offence of the frame. Shots were 15-7 as Saskatoon led Swift Current 1-0 after 20 minutes, with Troy Trombley answering the call 100% in Saskatoon’s net.

The Broncos looked to tie the game up early in the second period when a Jake DeBrusk rebound found the net, but the ref immediately waved off the goal saying it had been kicked in. The Blades then came close themselves exactly a minute later when Nikita Scherbak wrung iron past the glove hand of Bow, with the game still sitting at 1-0. But, that didn’t last much longer as at 8:40 Jay Merkley picked off a pass to the point by Cory Millette, walked in all alone from the red line in and beat Trombley high on the glove side to make it 1-1 with the unassisted tally. But Saskatoon was quick to answer. Nick Zajac walked around a defender in the neutral zone, walked in over the blueline and ripped a high hard wrist shot past Bow to make it 2-1 at 8:58. After a pair of posts by the Broncos, they finally found net to get the game back even as Graham Black spun and fired during a powerplay, beating Trombley to make it 2-2 with his 18th of the season. A post by Brett Stovin in the final minute would be as close as the Blades would come as it was a tie game after 40 minutes. Shots sat at 27-22 in favour of the road side.

The Blades nearly had a great chance to take the lead early in the third period as a long breakaway feed to Cory Millette just missed connecting. But the Blades would make the most of their next good opportunity at 8:25. Nikita Scherbak tallied his 21st of the season on the PP to give Saskatoon another lead in the game, this time 3-2. But the back and forth battle continued as the Broncos tied things back up at 13:02. The goal came as Coda Gordon took a feed and snuck a shot in on the shortside past Trombley to make it 3-3, with the goal coming on the man advantage. Saskatoon then got a spark from Ryan Graham. Right in front of their bench Graham drop the mitts with a tough customer in Tanner LeSann and the scrap gave his team some life. A Nikita Scherbak goal at 14:37 made it 4-3 as he tallied his 2nd of the night and 22nd of the year. Logan Harland then doubled the lead at the 16 minute mark when he spun and scored to make it 5-3. Dylan Busenius iced the game with his 1st as a Blade as he hit the open cage with 36 seconds to play, sealing Saskatoon’s 6-3 win. The Blades were 1 for 3 on the PP and 3 for 5 on the PK as Trombley made 37 saves in the win.

The Blades next game goes on Friday when they travel to Regina to meet the Pats.

The Blades then have Ukrainian Night approaching, with the 101st Grey Cup Champion Saskatchewan Roughriders also appearing at the game for autographs and a special ceremony this Saturday, January 4th.

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