|Braylon Shmyr, left, celebrates his winning goal for the Blades.|
Braylon Shmyr sparked and finished things for the Saskatoon Blades.
On Friday night at the SaskTel Centre, the 19-year-old Calgary product scored 12 seconds into a WHL clash against the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings to give the host side a 1-0 lead. Shmyr also tucked home a gritty winner from the right side of the Brandon goal with 41.9 seconds to play in the third period to break a 2-2 draw and deliver the Blades to a 3-2 victory.
The win allowed “the Bridge City Bunch” to end an ugly four-game losing skid where they were outscored 24-6.
“We always talk about having a good start, so that first shift that we had that we scored on, that set the momentum for the game,” said Shmyr, whose team improved to 10-15-1 with the win. “It is always nice getting those game-winning goals.
“It is just all about battling and finishing right to the end. We had a week of just setting down and having team meetings. We were just figuring out what we could do to win games, and I think it paid off for us.”
Wearing their classic blue Pac-Man jerseys, the Blades immediately engaged the crowd of 3,929 spectators with Shmyr’s first goal that seemed to come out of nowhere.
|Jesse Shynkaruk speeds up the ice for the Blades.|
The visitors replied with a big push back.
Just 33 seconds after Shynkaruk’s goal, Wheat Kings left-winger Tyler Coulter wired home his 10th of the season to cut the Blades lead to 2-1.
Brandon evened the score up at 2-2 with 3:11 to play in the second, when defenceman Schael Higson floated home a point shot.
When the second came to a close, the Wheat Kings were carrying the momentum holding an overall 21-17 edge in shots.
The Blades recovered their footing in the third, where Shmyr came through with the winner. Brandon applied pressure in the final seconds but couldn’t put the puck past Blades netminder Logan Flodell.
|Logan Christensen (#41) steals the puck for the Blades.|
“It feels good just to win - period,” said Blades head coach Dean Brockman. “I think our group was pretty gutsy in the third.
“It is good for our club. Hopefully, we can get some confidence going.
“You could see we were scrambling a little bit in the third period. That is just a team that hasn’t won for a while.”
Brockman was happy to see Shmyr come through with a nice night against his former team. The Blades acquired Shmyr in a trade with the Wheat Kings shortly before last season’s WHL trade deadline.
“He has probably been our best player over the last 10 or 12 games,” said Brockman. “Just to see him get rewarded against his old team it is a really good for him.”
|The Blades salute the SaskTel Centre crowd.|
After pounding the Raiders 7-1 on Friday night in Prince Albert, the Tigers sit first overall in the WHL at 19-5-1 and have won eight straight games.
Hausinger dealt to Rebels
The Blades were active on the trade front before Friday’s game rolled around.
Saskatoon dealt 17-year-old right-winger Cameron Hausinger to the Red Deer Rebels in exchange for a seventh round selection in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft and a fifth round pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft.
In 20 games this season, Hausinger had three assists, 22 penalty minutes and a minus-seven rating in the plus-minus department.
McCarty goes down
The Blades lost team scoring leader Mason McCarty to injury late in the second period.
The 19-year-old winger has 14 goals and eight assists in 26 games. His status is uncertain for Saturday’s game against the Tigers.
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