Blades Drop Wild Game To Cougars

PHOTO COURTESY: Steve Hiscock

It was all about offence on Wednesay night in Saskatoon as the Saskatoon Blades dropped a wild 10-6 decision to the Prince George Cougars. Five Blades had multi-point games in the loss, with Jansen Harkins and Zach Pochiro leading the way for the Cougars with 2 goals and an assist each.

The game got off on a decent foot for Saskatoon as they generated a trio of very good chances in the opening minutes. 30 seconds into the game a Brett Stovin backhand slid wide of the post, just failing to open the scoring. Mitch Lipon nearly tallied minutes later as his shot banked off the goaltender, off a defenceman and just wide of the net. After that, the flood gates opened for the Cougars. Joseph Carvalho made it a 1-0 Cougars lead at 5:20 when his point shot found the net past Troy Trombley through a screen. That lead was doubled at 6:26 when Todd Fiddler grabbed the puck after a Blades turnover and beat Trombley from in close. Back to back goals from Troy Bourke and Jordan Tkatch made it 4-0 as the tallies came 9 seconds apart at 8:32 and 8:41. Jansen Harkins then tallied to make it a 5-0 game as his centering pass bounced off a Blades skate and in at 11:21. Troy Trombley was then relieved in the game, being replaced by Nathan Alalouf, who would be making his WHL debut. Saskatoon had their turn to get on the board at 15:06 when Nick Zajac fed Cameron Hebig in front on the PP and he scored despite getting knocked down. His 5th of the year was also assisted on by Nikita Scherbak, who extended his point streak to five games. The Cougars would add two more with Brad Morrison making it 6-1 when his wrist shot beat Alalouf from the slot and Tate Olson netting his second of the year on the PP in the final minute. Saskatoon would close out the period with a goal as Connor Sanvido would score on a breakaway with 2.2 seconds to play in the frame. Shots were 16-9 in the opening 20 minutes in favour of the Cougars, who were 2 for 2 on the PP.

The Blades regrouped to start the second period and it started between the pipes as Troy Trombley returned back to action and answered with a pair of nice stops early. Saskatoon then answered on the scoreboard at 4:45. A shot from the slot from Connor Sanvido was tipped on net by Zajac and nearly trickled home. But, Logan Harland was the first man on the biscuit and jammed it home for his 8th to make it a 7-3 game. Less than two minutes later Saskatoon had another great chance as Scherbak hit Hebig with a great stretch pass, with the Saskatoon product getting turned aside after being hooked on the breakaway. That meant a penalty shot attempt for the rookie. Hebig skated in, deked to the backhand on Edmonds but was denied by the pad to keep it a 7-3 score. Then while shorthanded the Blades did cut into the lead further. Chase Clayton fed Ryan Graham at 15:41, with the big forward wiring his slapshot through Edmonds to make it 7-4 with his 6th of the season. But the three goal deficit didn’t last long as the Cougars answered 24 seconds after as a shot from Morrison deflected right onto the tape of Zach Pochiro and he didn’t miss the open cage. His 19th at 16:05 made it 8-4, rounding out the scoring in the second. Shots were 21-12 in the period for Saskatoon for a two period total of 30-28 for the home side.

The Cougars continued the high-paced offensive game to start the third period as Zach Pochiro tipped home a puck off a Brett Roulston shot at 3:11. His second of the night extended the lead to 9-4 for the Cougars. Saskatoon was quick to strike back as only 31 seconds later Cameron Hebig scored his second of the night when a MacKenzie Johnston shot left a rebound on the doorstep for the Saskatoon product to net his 6th of the year. The lead shrunk further at 8:04 as Connor Sanvido sent a great saucer pass to the front of the net to Mitch Lipon, who deflected the puck home for his first as a member of the Blades to make it 9-6. The crowd was in a frenzy when Saskatoon looked to get closer. Scherbak walked down the wing and fired a shot on goal, with the puck beating Edmonds before a crowd knocked the net off. The ref waved the play off and ruled it was no goal after a brief talk with the video goal judge. Minutes later the Cougars iced the game as they made it 10-6 when Jansen Harkins danced through the neutral zone and finished on Trombley for his 8th of the season at 11:31. A Nikita Scherbak crossbar would be as close as Saskatoon would come in the last few minutes as the final was 10-6 for Prince George.

Some rough stuff did close out the game as in the final minute a scrum behind the Cougars net left Scherbak in a lot of pain. He had to be helped off the ice, with Aaron Macklin being handed a double minor for roughing and a 10 minute misconduct on the play.

The Saskatoon Blades next game goes on Friday night when they play a visit to Regina to take on the Pats. Saskatoon then returns home on Saturday for a meeting with the Brandon Wheat Kings.

 

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