Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Blades buck Broncos 5-2 to start new year

Kirby Dach scored for the Blades on Tuesday.
    Saskatoon Blades gave the SaskTel Centre faithful sweet treat on New Year’s Day.
    In an afternoon game played before 3,818 spectators, the Blades received goals from five different players to down the Swift Current Broncos 5-2. The WHL regular season tilt was a competitive one as the Blades held a 1-0 lead at the end of the first period and a 2-1 advantage at the end of the second frame.
    The Blades opened the game’s scoring at the 13:33 mark of the first period on a power-play goal from overage right-winger Max Gerlach, who knocked home the puck from the left side of the Swift Current goal.
    Saskatoon extended its edge to 2-0 at the 2:31 mark of the second, when right-winger Josh Paterson knocked home the rebound of a shot taken from linemate Kyle Crnkovic.
    The Broncos didn’t go away. Inside of the final 20 seconds of the second, Broncos 16-year-old rookie defenceman Billy Sowa potted his second goal of the season to cut the Blades lead to 2-1.
    In the third, the Blades jumped ahead 3-1, when captain Chase Wouters converted a tick-tack-toe passing play from Gerlach and left-winger Gary Haden.
    Saskatoon’s lead grew to 4-1, when 17-year-old centre Kirby Dach scored on a breakaway with a backhand shot.
    With 4:55 remaining in the third, Alec Zawatsky scored for the Broncos to cut Saskatoon’s lead to 4-2.
Captain Chase Wouters scored for the Blades on Tuesday.
    The comeback hopes for the visitors were short lived.
    With 62 seconds remaining in the third, Blades left-winger Riley McKay cut across the front of the Swift Current goal and scored on a backhander.
    Nolan Maier made 17 saves to pick up the win in goal for the Blades, who improved to 23-11-5. Joel Hofer turned away 41 shots to take the setback in goal for the rebuilding Broncos, who fell to 7-27-2-1.
    Tuesday’s game had its feisty moments too.
    Near the end of the first period, McKay and Broncos right-winger Tanner Nagel engaged in a fight.
    There was also a skirmish at the 11:48 mark of the second period that saw fighting majors assessed to Broncos defenceman Matthew Stanley, Blades right-winger Zach Huber and Blades centre Randen Schmidt.
    The Blades return to action on Friday, when they host the Regina Pats at 7 p.m. at the SaskTel Centre. The Broncos return home to host the Portland Winterhawks on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Innovation Credit Union i-Plex.

Raiders put Pats winning streak on ice

Sergei Sapego scored the winning goal for the Raiders on Tuesday.
    The Prince Albert Raiders had to put the pedal to the metal to put away a very game Regina Pats side on New Year’s Day.
    On Tuesday afternoon before 5,877 spectators at the Brandt Centre in Regina, the Pats, who are in a major rebuild, took a 3-2 lead over the Raiders in the third period. The Raiders rallied scoring the final three goals of the contest to pull out a 5-3 victory and bring an end to the Pats three game winning streak.
    The Pats downed the Raiders 2-1 when the two sides met on Sunday in Prince Albert.
    With the Pats holding a 3-2 lead in Tuesday’s WHL regular season clash, Raiders overage centre Sean Montgomery netted the equalizer from the left slot on a beauty backhand set up pass from linemate Parker Kelly to force a 3-3 tie with 8:56 remaining in the third period.
    Raiders import defenceman Sergei Sapego scored the winning goal with a point blast through a screen on the power play with 4:21 remaining in the third. Kelly cemented the win with an empty-net goal with one second remaining in the third.
    Kelly also opened the game’s scoring with a short-handed goal 19 seconds into the second period.
Veteran left-winger Robbie Holmes responded for the Pats to send the two sides into the second intermission locked in a 1-1 tie.
Noah Gregor had three assists for the Raiders on Tuesday.
    Early in the third, star left-winger Cole Fonstad scored to put the Raiders up 2-1. Just 14 seconds after Fonstad’s goal, overage defenceman Liam Schioler netted the equalizer for the Pats to tie things up at 2-2.
    Just 82 seconds after Schioler’s goal, the Pats jumped ahead 3-2 on a goal from left-winger Riley Krane. That set the stage for the Raiders final surge to win the game.
    Brett Balas made 20 saves to pick up the win in goal for the Raiders, who improve their WHL leading record to 34-3-0-1. The Raiders are the top rated team in the CHL’s Top 10 rankings.
    Max Paddock turned away 51-of-55 shots to take the setback in goal for the Pats, who fell to 12-25-0-1.
    Raiders star overage centre Noah Gregor had three assists in the win and has recorded points in his last seven consecutive games. During that stretch, Gregor has recorded 10 goals and seven assists.
    The Raiders return to action on Friday, when they host the Moose Jaw Warriors at 7 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert. The Pats are also off until Friday when they travel to Saskatoon to face the Blades at 7 p.m. at the SaskTel Centre.

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