Blades Work Overtime To Buck Broncos

The Saskatoon Blades scored a big victory on Saturday night, defeating the Swift Current Broncos in a 3-2 overtime thriller. Swift Current product MacKenzie Johnston had the overtime winner as he netted his first goal as a member of the Blades to seal the victory.

Prior to the puck drop, the Saskatoon Blades and Western Hockey League were honoured to recognize Jack Brodsky and the Brodsky family for their 37 years of ownership of the franchise. Brodsky was presented with the Governors Award by league commissioner Ron Robison, with the Blades also unveiling a ’37 year’ banner for the family to commemorate their years of service to the team and the city of Saskatoon.

Once action got underway, it was non-stop. The teams traded chances in the opening few minutes, with Chase Clayton nearly making it 1-0 Saskatoon in the first minute as his shot just went wide of Landon Bow’s cage. The Broncos answered with a pair of good point blank looks for Glenn Gawdin minutes later, both of which were turned aside. Then at 7:12, the Blades made an ugly chance count. Cory Millette opened the scoring in a game for the second straight night for the Blades, banking home a puck from behind the net, sending it off the skate of a Bronco and in to make it 1-0 with his 12th of the year. A partial breakaway for Brett Stovin was stopped minutes later, but the next good Blades chance would count. The goal came at 15:12 on the PP when Nikita Scherbak walked in off the half-wall on his off-wing, firing home a wrister for his 25th of the year making it 2-0. The teams would play out the rest of the period in a fairly defensive posture, with Saskatoon taking their two goal lead into the intermission. Shots were 12-11 for Saskatoon in the frame.

The second period was a bit of a turnaround from the first as the Broncos came out strong to start the frame. They got on the board early in the period, with Colby Cave netting his 23rd of the season only 1:22 into it to make it a 2-1 game. Saskatoon nearly restored their two-goal lead just a minute later, as a spin and fire from the slot by Cameron Hebig wrung off the crossbar and out of play. Saskatoon was then forced to defend during a 5 on 3, with goalie Troy Trombley standing tall and making several key stops during the stretch to keep it a 2-1 game. But, the Broncos would eventually even the game as Andrew Johnson had his shot go off the post and in from the slot to tie the game up with his 5th of the year at 7:38. Saskatoon had a chance to gain that lead back at 10:47 when Scherbak was hauled down on a breakaway and was rewarded with a penalty shot. The Blades leading scorer walked in on Bow, deked and shot, but his attempt was kicked out. The period came to an end with Saskatoon and Swift Current tied at two, as the Broncos outshot the Blades 19-8 in the frame.

The third period was a mix of the first two as both teams traded great chances throughout, with the goaltenders standing tall in either end. Brett Stovin nearly made it a 3-2 game for Saskatoon as he had a pair of great chances within the first two minutes, but Landon Bow was quick to deny the veteran Blades forward. Bow kept up his hot play near the midpoint of the frame when a Dylan Busenius point shot left the puck on the tape of Connor Sanvido beside the net, but the former Bronco was absolutely denied twice by Bow to keep it tied up. Saskatoon then had to rely on their penalty kill in the dying minutes as Chase Clayton ran into Bow on a rush down the ice, sending the Blades to a shorthanded situation. But, Saskatoon got some stops from Trombley to set up an exciting final minute. In that final minute a great feed from Clayton to Hebig sprung the Saskatoon product down the slot, but his drag move was kicked out by Bow as the desperation stop got the game to OT.

The teams played a cautious first few minutes of overtime but things started to open up. Saskatoon got the best chance at 3:16 of the five minute frame and didn’t miss their opportunity. At the end of a long shift Nikita Scherbak threw a pass to the slot and it floated out to MacKenzie Johnston. The big blueliner was able to walk into the shot and rip it top shelf on Bow, netting the winner with his first as a Blade to make it an exciting 3-2 final. Shots were 3-1 Swift Current in overtime after a 17-9 Blades advantage in the third. Saskatoon was 1 for 5 on the PP and 4 for 4 on the PK in the victory, the first by the team in OT this season.

The Saskatoon Blades next game goes on Wednesday night when they play host to the Prince George Cougars.

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