Blades Run Out Of Gas

PHOTO COURTESY: Steve Hicsock:

A hard first period was the downfall on Saturday night in Saskatoon as the Regina Pats dumped the Blades 6-2. Regina stormed out to a 5-0 advantage in the opening 20 minutes during the game, with the Blades pushing for a comeback but falling short.

The first period was a tough one for the Blades. Only 41 seconds into the frame the Pats got on the board as a long hard point shot from Jesse Zgraggen found the net past Alex Moodie, with Kyle Burroughs and Chandler Stephenson assisting on the goal. Just over 4 minutes later the Pats doubled their lead when Chandler Stephenson beat Moodie shortside after taking a feed from Morgan Klimchuk behind the net. The lead was then advanced to 3-0 on the PP at 7:06 when a Dyson Stevenson shot went under the leg of Ayrton Nikkel and then under the bar past Moodie. That ended the Blades goalie’s night as he was replaced by Troy Trombley. Things didn’t go much better for Trombley as he surrendered a goal to Dryden Hunt at 10:12 as he walked over the blueline and saw his shot beat the new Blades goalie high on the glove side. Saskatoon had a chance to break the goose egg with 4:33 to play in the frame as Nick Zajac was hooked on a breakaway, resulting in a penalty shot. The Blades alternate captain walked in on Pats goalie Daniel Wapple and tried to beat him low blocker side but Wapple made the stop. Then with 9 seconds to play in the period the Pats added another as Morgan Klimchuk scored his 14th from beside the net on the PP. Shots were 14-10 for Regina in the opening 20 minutes.

 

The second period was a big improvement over the first period for the Blades. Early in the frame the line of Cameron Hebig, Brett Stovin and Cory Millette went to work. Cameron Hebig made a nice move on the backhand in front, sliding a shot just off the post and out. But the line stayed after it and Hebig got a second chance, going to the backhand again and sliding the puck home between the legs of Wapple to make it 5-1. Minutes later the Blades got another good chance off the stick of Hebig as he walked into the slot, took a feed and fired a shot hard on net that was turned aside. The Blades then rung one off the iron near the midpoint of the frame when a long Zajac shot fooled the goalie but hit the par behind him and stayed out. Saskatoon had another good chance to get closer in the game with a 5 on 3 for 49 seconds. But, they failed to score despite a good backhand chance from Connor Sanvido and a hard wrist shot from Nikita Scherbak as the game was still sitting a 5-1. That would be the score through 40 minutes as the shots were 11-11 in the middle frame for a two-period total of 25-21 for Regina.

 

The Blades came out with some good chances to start the final period. In the opening minute of the frame, Stovin walked out of the corner and went to the backhand but had his attempt denied by Wapple. But the Blades next good chance would count for good. Logan Harland and Connor Sanvido busted in on the rush on what turned out to be a 2 on 0 chance, making a quick give and go before Sanvido slid it home for his 13th of the year and 1st as a member of the Blades to make it 5-2. Ryan Graham picked up the second assist on the goal, which came at 3:29. Saskatoon continued to generate chances, including a look from Harland on the rush that was stopped by the glove of Wapple. The Blades also got a good hard shot from Scherbak as time continued to wind down, as he fired one hard off the post with 5:50 to play, keeping it a 3-goal deficit. That deficit would then be stretched to 4 late in the game as Dryden Hunt walked out of the corner at 16:03, got a shot and knocked the rebound in out of midair to make it 6-2. The Blades wouldn’t get another good chance on net as the clock wound down, making it a 6-2 final. Regina held a 35-30 shot advantage in the win, going 2 for 5 on the PP compared to the Blades 0 for 3.

The Blades next home game goes on Friday, January 17th against the Prince Albert Raiders.

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