Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Raiders lock up top spot in WHL, capture Scotty Munro Trophy

Brayden Pachal had a pair of assists for the Raiders on Tuesday.
    It is feeling a lot like 1985 in Prince Albert.
    On Tuesday night before 2,385 spectators at the Art Hauser Centre, the Prince Albert Raiders thumped the visiting Swift Current Broncos, who are in a major rebuild, 6-0 in a WHL regular season contest.
  With the win, the Raiders improved to 51-9-2-2 to lock up first place overall in the league and capture the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy for just the second time in franchise history.
    The Raiders, who are rated second in the CHL’s Top 10 rankings, last finished first overall in the WHL standings back in the 1984-85 season, when they posted a record of 58 wins, 11 losses and three ties.
    Prince Albert proceeded to win the WHL title and the Memorial Cup as CHL champions in that campaign.
    In Tuesday’s game against the Broncos, the Raiders led 2-0 after the first period and 5-0 after the second frame.
Ian Scott tied the Raiders record for shutouts in one season.
    Winger Dante Hannoun had a goal and two assists for the Raiders.
    Rugged forward Justin Nachbaur scored twice for the Raiders, while Sergei Sapego, Aliaksei Protas and Eric Pearce netted singles.
    Captain Brayden Pachal had a pair of assists for the Raiders.
    Ian Scott made 24 saves to pick up the shutout win in goal for the Raiders.
    The shutout win was the sixth of the season for Scott and it equals a Raiders club record for most shutouts in one season.
    Rejean Beauchemin had six shutouts for the Raiders in the 2003-04 season, and Luke Siemens had six shutouts in the 2012-13 campaign.
    So far this season, Scott has recorded a 35-7-3 record, a 1.90 goals against average and a .931 save percentage to go with his six shutouts.
    Riley Lamb turned away 33 shots to take the setback in the Broncos net.
    Swift Current sits last in the WHL with a 10-46-4-2 record.
    The Raiders and Broncos will go at it again on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre.

Blades will starts playoffs playing at home

Dawson Davidson scored the winner for the Blades.
    The Saskatoon Blades will open their journey through the WHL playoffs at home.
    On Tuesday, the Blades locked up a second place finish in the WHL’s East Division downing the Warriors in Moose Jaw 4-2 before 3,014 spectators at Mosaic Place. With finishing second in the division, the Blades will have home ice advantage for a best-of-seven first round playoff series.
    The win over the Warriors was the fifth in a row for the Blades who improved to 42-14-8.
Saskatoon has won 12 of its last 13 games and is sitting securely inside the top four of the overall WHL standings.
    The Warriors jumped out to 1-0 lead in Tuesday’s game, when star left-winger Tristin Langan scored his 48th goal of the season just 56 seconds into the first period.
Blades overage defenceman Brandon Schuldhaus proceeded to provide headaches to his former club.   
    The Blades acquired Schuldhaus in a trade with the Warriors in the early part of the season.
    Schuldhaus scored at the 15:02 mark of the first period to even things up at 1-1. The Calgary product potted his second of the contest at the 6:24 mark of the second to give the Blades a 2-1 advantage.
Brandon Schuldhaus scored twice for the Blades.
    The Warriors evened things up at 2-2 at the 11:55 mark of the second with a short-handed goal coming from star centre Justin Almeida.
    Just 20 seconds after Almeida’s goal, Blades star offensive defenceman Dawson Davidson drove home his 11th goal of the season to put the visitors up 3-2.
    With under a minute to play, star centre Kirby Dach scored for the Blades to seal victory.
    Nolan Maier made 26 saves to pick up the win in goal for the Blades. Brodan Salmond turned away 26 shots to take the setback in goal for the Warriors (35-19-6-2).
    Saskatoon improved its impressive road record to 22-8-3 with the win over the Warriors. The Blades have won four of the five head-to-head encounters with Moose Jaw this season.
    The Warriors return to action on Friday, when they travel to Regina to take on the Pats at 7 p.m. at the Brandt Centre.
    The Blades return home to host the Swift Current Broncos on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the SaskTel Centre. That contest will be the Blades’ “WHL Suits Up” with Don Cherry to promote organ donation game.
    Saskatoon will wear Don Cherry inspired suit jerseys for that contest. The jerseys will be silent auctioned during the game with the proceeds going to the Saskatoon branch of the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

Back in the Express with Haden

My story on Gary Haden in the Saskatoon Express.
    I was back in the pages of the Saskatoon Express this week with a story on Saskatoon Blades left-winger Gary Haden.
    Haden was acquired in a trade early in the season from the Medicine Hat Tigers. In 51 regular season games with the Blades, Haden has piled up 28 goals and 30 assists and a plus-20 rating in the plus-minus department.
    He has taken on the nickname of “Uncle Gary.” The Blades have been selling “Uncle Gary” T-shirts at their store in the SaskTel Centre.
    Copies of the Express can be found in various locations around Saskatoon.
    The story on Haden can be found by clicking right here.

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