Category Archives: Saskatoon Blades

Blades Look To Sink Raiders In Season Opener

OFF THE TOP: The Saskatoon Blades will open their 51st season tonight with the first of eight meetings against the Prince Albert Raiders. In 2013-14, the Raiders had the upper hand on the Blades, collecting 14 of a possible 16 points (7-1-0). PA won all four games at the Art Hauser Centre, outscoring the Blades 21-10, which includes a 7-2 score on Mar. 14. In the 2014 pre-season, the teams split a back-to-back set on Sept. 5 and 6, with each team winning on home ice.

LAST GAME (PRE-SEASON #6) – SEPT. 13, 2014: Glenn Gawdin scored twice, while Jay Merkley picked up a goal and two assists as the Swift Current Broncos staved off a late Blades rally, defeating Saskatoon 4-2 in Maple Creek, SK. Austin Adamson and Wyatt Sloboshan each scored for the Blades, while 20-year-old Troy Trombley – making his third start of the exhibition schedule – surrendered all four goals by the Broncos.

After a 37-point 2013-14 campaign (16-51-2-3, 11th in Eastern Conference), the Blades assembled a 3-2-1 record in the pre-season, earning wins over the Raiders, Broncos and Medicine Hat Tigers.

WHL Introduces New Rules/Play-off Format

The Western Hockey League today announced a series of rule changes for the upcoming 2014-15 WHL Season, which opens Friday evening.

Rule changes for the 2014-15 WHL Season were tested during pre-season and most of the changes adopted by the National Hockey League (NHL):

*Indicates rule adopted by the NHL
1) Overtime
• During the regular season, at the end of the third period of a tied game, there will be a two minute break prior to the start of a five (5) minute sudden-death overtime period (same as in previous seasons).
• *The Clubs must change ends for the overtime period.

2) Shootout
• Should a regular season game be tied after the five (5) minute sudden-death overtime period, the Zamboni(s) will do a dry scrape of the middle of the ice (same as in previous seasons).
• *The Clubs must change ends again for the shootout.
• *The home team shall have the choice of shooting first or second, and the Clubs shall alternate shots.
• *The spin-o-rama type move where the player completes a 360 degree turn as he approaches the goal shall not be permitted. Should a player perform such a move during the penalty shot, the shot shall be stopped immediately by the referee, and no goal shall be permitted. (This also applies on regular penalty shot situations during a game)

3) Tripping
• *A two minute minor penalty will be assessed when a defending player “dives” and trips an attacking player with his stick, body, arm or shoulder, regardless of whether the defending player is able to make initial contact with the puck.
• *In situations where a penalty shot might otherwise be appropriate, if the defending player “dives” and touches the puck first (before the trip), no penalty shot will be awarded. (In such cases, the resulting penalty will be limited to a two minute minor for tripping).

WHL: Eastern Conference Preview

The Western Hockey League’s 49th season begins on Friday, September 19th, as fans gear up for another exciting winter of WHL hockey.

The Edmonton Oil Kings have been the class of the WHL’s Eastern Conference for the last three years. Can the defending WHL and MasterCard Memorial Cup champions find a way to top the Conference once again? Or, will another team rise up to dethrone the Oil Kings?

Here’s a look at the WHL Eastern Conference:

East Division

Brandon Wheat Kings
General Manager/Head Coach: Kelly McCrimmon
2014 pre-season: 4gp, 3-1-0-0
2013-14 Record: 34-29-6-3, 77pts (3rd in East Div., 7th in Eastern Conf.) GF: 271 GA: 269
2013-14 Power Play / Penalty Killing ranking: PP: 25.9% (2nd); PK: 75.2% (18th)
2014 Playoffs: Lost in five games to Edmonton in second round
2013-14 Top Scorers:
Jayce Hawryluk 59gp-24g-40a-64pts
Ryan Pulock 66gp-23g-40a-63pts
Tim McGauley 68gp-21g-39a-60pts

The Brandon Wheat Kings took a big step forward last season, making it back to the playoffs after missing out the year before. With a collection of young, high-end talent, the Wheat Kings will be gunning for East Division supremacy. Up front, the Wheat Kings return several key forwards from what was the third-highest scoring offense in the WHL Eastern Conference last season. Jayce Hawryluk, John Quenneville, Peter Quenneville, Rihards Bukarts and Tim McGauley lead what should be a dangerous attack while sophomores Jesse Gabrielle and Braylon Shmyr will look to take on a bigger role. Highly-touted rookie Nolan Patrick could also be a difference-maker as a 16-year-old. The Wheat Kings will miss the presence of former captain Ryan Pulock on the back end. However, 18-year-old Ryan Pilon should be able step up and help fill the void both offensively and defensively. Look for rookies Ivan Provorov and Kale Clague to step in on the back end as well. Goaltender Jordan Papirny takes on the starting job in goal after posting 22 wins in 46 games last year and further impressing in the post-season.

Blades Swing Another Deal

General Manager and Head Coach Bob Woods announced today that the Saskatoon Blades have acquired 19-year-old defenceman Isaac Schacher from the Regina Pats in exchange for an eighth round pick in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.

Schacher, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound product of Kimberley, BC, split time with the Pats and Victoria Royals last season, recording a combined nine points (1G, 8A), 48 penalty minutes and a plus-22 rating in 60 regular-season contests.

In three pre-season games (Aug. 28 vs. Moose Jaw, Sept. 5 at Brandon and Sept. 12 at Prince Albert), the ’95-born, right-handed shooting rearguard registered a combined plus-3 rating and four penalty minutes.

Blades Add A Tender, Cut a Vet:

PHOTO COURTESY (Steve Hiscock)

General Manager and Head Coach Bob Woods announced Tuesday that the Saskatoon Blades have acquired ’96-born goaltender Michael Herringer from the Victoria Royals in exchange for conditional picks in the Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.

Herringer has been one of the top goalies in the pre-season, allowing only four goals on 59 shots (1.64GAA, .932SV%) in over 147 minutes of action.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound netminder has appeared in a pair of regular-season games with the Royals, recording a win, a 2.39 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in 2012-13. That same season, playing with the Victoria Cougars of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, Herringer recorded a 2.23 goals-against average and .899 save percentage in 17 regular-season contests. Appearing in three playoff games, the 18-year-old product of Comox, BC, helped lead the Cougars to the VIJHL championship with a stellar, 0.41 goals-against average and .982 save percentage.

New Look Blades Set To Hit The Ice:

(PHOTO COURTESY: Steve Hiscock)

The Saskatoon Blades have announced the team rosters for their 2014 training camp, which opens today at the Legends Centre in Warman, SK.

70 players are expected to attend and compete for their spot in the Blades plans.

Here is a look at the teams that will be competing.

TEAM GREY DEFENCE:
#2 Alec Capstick
#3 Holden Cronin
#4 Turner Ottenbreit
#5 Skyler Thorsteinson
#6 Shaye Seefried
#23 Schael Higson

Blades Add A Pair In Import Draft

The Saskatoon Blades have made a pair of selections in the 2014 CHL Import Draft.

The Saskatoon Blades entered the day with the 9th overall selection in the annual draft, using it to take 1997-born forward Nikita Soshnin of Russia. He’s listed as a centre.

“Nikita is a very fast and skilled player,” said Blades general manager and head coach Bob Woods. “We received some great reports on him from the Under-17’s and was one of the standouts for his team at that event. He has the same agent as Nikita Scherbak and he’s never steered us wrong and knows what we need on our team. He’s a player we really wanted and we’re excited to have him.”

The left-handed shooting Soshnin is 5’10 and weighs in at 169 pounds. The forward is from Lipetsk, Russia, which is less than 500 kilometres away from Moscow, the hometown of Saskatoon Blades leading scorer Nikita Scherbak.

Soshnin put up 4 goals and 22 assists for a total of 26 points in 38 games for Irbis Kazan of the MHL’s B Division in 2013-14. He also added 12 PIMs and put up a +8 rating.

Blades Add Pick From Silvertips

(Photo Courtesy Steve Hiscock)

The Saskatoon Blades have acquired a conditional 4th round pick from the Everett Silvertips in exchange for forward Graham Millar.

The pick Saskatoon has acquired is for the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft. “Given the depth we have in front of Graham, this was a move we needed to make to bring in a good asset,” said Blades general manager and head coach Bob Woods.”The trade will give him a new opportunity to play more in Everett while continuing our path to rebuild this team on the ice.”

Millar, a 1996-born player from Penticton, BC, was a rookie with the Saskatoon Blades in 2013-14.

Blades Add A Dean To Coaching Staff

The Saskatoon Blades are extremely pleased to announce that they have hired Dean Brockman as their new assistant coach.

Brockman joins the Blades from the Humboldt Broncos, where he was a 4-time SJHL Coach Of The Year, most recently in 2013.

“Dean is a winner, plain and simple,” said Saskatoon Blades general manager and head coach Bob Woods. “He brings experience, leadership and a winning mentality to this organization. He’s proven himself at the SJHL level and with Hockey Canada and we’re very excited to welcome him to the Saskatoon Blades.”

Brockman has spent the last 10 seasons as the general manager and head coach of the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos. During those 10 seasons he was named SJHL Coach Of The Year in 2013, 2009, 2008 and 2007. Prior to that, Brockman was the assistant coach of the club from 1997 until 2003, while also serving as general manager.

“This is obviously a great opportunity for me and one that I have been seeking for a while,” said Brockman. “The Saskatoon Blades are a team that I watched growing up, going way back to the days of Jackie McLeod. I’m certainly looking forward to doing everything that I can to help this team win games.”

Team success has been a regular theme when looking at Brockman’s history. The product of St. Benedict, Saskatchewan, guided the Broncos to four Anavet Cup Championship titles in five appearances at the event, which matches up the SJHL and MJHL Champions.

Blades Sign Another Prospect

PHOTO COURTESY (Steve Hiscock)

The Saskatoon Blades are extremely pleased to announce that they have signed 1998-born defenceman Schael Higson to a standard WHL Education Contract.

“Schael is a major part of our future and a player we can build around,” said Blades general manager and head coach Bob Woods. “We think he has all the tools to be a top flight defenceman in the WHL and beyond. This is a very exciting announcement for this franchise.”

“Signing Schael has been one of our top priorities this offseason,” adds Blades managing partner Colin Priestner. “Considering the number of top NCAA schools pursuing him, we are so thrilled he has chosen us. We felt that he was one of the very best players at our recent spring camp and he will be a pillar on our defence for years to come.”

The Blades were quick to snap up the 5’11, 196 pound defenceman after he went undrafted in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, adding him to their 50-man protected list.

After a strong training camp with the Blades in the fall of 2013, the product of Grand Prairie, Alberta followed that up with a solid season of midget-AAA with his hometown Grand Prairie Storm. Higson put up 8 goals, 12 assists, for 20 points to go along with 6 powerplay goals and 48 PIMs in 33 games.