Blades Burst Road Bubble

The Saskatoon Blades picked up their first ‘W’ away from last night in Lethbridge. The Blades doublued up the host Canes 6-3 to claim their first victory away from Credit Union Centre since November 8th.

Here is the full story:

The Saskatoon Blades pulled out a character win on Wednesday night in Lethbridge, downing the Hurricanes 6-3. The win was made possible despite a 2-0 deficit in the first period of the game. In the end it was special teams, grit and some goaltending that helped snap the Blades losing skid.

The Saskatoon Blades took a minute or two to get their feet underneath them on Wednesday night in Lethbridge. An early partial breakaway for Hurricanes forward Jamal Watson was the first good chance of the game, only 1:30 in as his shot just trickled wide but drew a penalty. The Blades managed to bare down and kill off the early shorthanded situation, surrendering only one shot while shorthanded. But, the Hurricanes were quick to make their next opportunity count. Off an offensive zone draw, the Canes got the puck to the point with a quick shot from Tyler Bell getting around a Blades onrushing forward and beating a screened Troy Trombley to make it a 1-0 game at 4:17. The Hurricanes nearly made it 2-0 minutes later when a quick one-timer in the slot from Reid Duke was sharply turned aside by the shoulder of Trombley. The Hurricanes kept the pressure on, with a long Duke shot resulting in a rebound to Macoy Erkamps, who just failed to send home the rebound near the 12 minute mark of the 1-0 game. After that, Saskatoon started to get their legs going and create some chances. A quick shot with just under 8 minutes to play in the frame from Ryan Graham was hard and beat goalie Jonny Hogue, but not the iron as it clanged off the bar and went into the corner. Graham’s next shift also resulted in a good chance as his quick shot from the circle after an offensive zone draw had to be quickly turned away by Hogue. A late penalty to Mitch Lipon sent Saskatoon to a shorthanded situation to close the period, but they were able to get to the buzzer without much in the way off good chances for the Hurricanes as it was 1-0 through 20 minutes. While the score was 1-0, the shots also sat at 9-6 in favour of the home side.

 

After the teams combined for only 15 shots in the first 20 minutes, things changed drastically in the second frame. The Hurricanes extended their lead to 2-0 at the 7:52 mark of the period when Reid Duke won a battle for a puck behind the Blades goal and sent it out in front. There waited Hurricanes forward Jamal Watson, who blasted home a hard shot to double the lead for the home side. After that goal, Saskatoon started to come to life. A point shot on the powerplay from Dylan Busenius rang off the iron for the second time of the night for the Blades, but they weren’t about to be denied. Off an offensive zone draw, Ryan Graham ended up with the puck on his stick. His hard shot left a rebound beside Hoque, with Austin Adamson being the first one on the scene. The rookie jammed it home at 16:23, netting his first ever WHL goal to cut the lead in half. Then on the powerplay the Blades would strike again. A long shot from Clayton Kirichenko was tipped in front by Chase Clayton, with the rebound left sitting on the tape of Cory Millette. The veteran forward slid it home for his 14th of the year to tie the game up at 18:32. The goal came seconds after Watson was denied on a shorthanded breakaway for the Hurricanes as that stop was one of 22 second-period denials by Troy Trombley. The score sat at 2-2 through 40 minutes between the Blades and Hurricanes after the teams combined for 39 shots in the middle frame for a two period total of 32-22.

 

Saskatoon’s solid play continued to start the third period as they took their first lead of the night only 1:37 into the period. The goal came as Mitch Lipon scored his second in as many nights, cashing in the rebound off a Cory Millette shot during a delayed penalty. Then an interesting twist in the game as Austin Adamson got his stick up in the face of a Cane on the backcheck. Dylan Busenius was sent to the box for high sticking instead, despite pleading from the Blades bench. Then, seconds later Ryan Graham took a kneeing penalty, meaning a 5 on 3 Hurricanes PP for over a minute. Saskatoon dug down and killed off the first penalty and just as Busenius jumped out he took a feed from Ayrton Nikkel. Busenius walked in shorthanded, deked to the backhand and beat Hogue for his 8th of the year to make it a 4-2 Blades lead. But the two goal lead didn’t last long. Under a minute later a one-timer from Watson beat Trombley to make it a 4-3 game. But the back and forth action continued as only 22 seconds later Saskatoon had an answer. Connor Sanvdo walked down the right wing with speed, unleashing a wrister on Hogue. The rebound went right to Ryan Graham who chipped it in for his 7th, extending Saskatoon’s lead to 5-3. The Hurricanes would pull the goalie with two minutes to play but failed to generate a goal. Brett Stovin would hit the empty cage with 25 seconds to play, giving Saskatoon a 6-3 road win. Shots were 51-38 for the Hurricanes, with the Blades going 1 for 5 on the PP and 6 for 6 on the PK. Cory Millette was the only Blade to pick up a star in the game as he had a goal and an assist, good enough for second star honours. Troy Trombley grabbed the win, making 48 saves for the Blades.

The Saskatoon Blades next game goes on Friday at home against the Medicine Hat Tigers.

 

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