Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Spark out of nowhere results in Blades 4-3 OT comeback win

Tristen Robins (#11) scores the Blades OT winner.
The Saskatoon Blades proved you don’t always need to be great to pull out a game in the WHL regular season.

On Tuesday night at the SaskTel Centre, “The Bridge City” bunch showed all you need is a spark out of nowhere to find a great finishing kick to skate to a miraculous comeback.

With six minutes remaining in the third, the Blades trailed the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings 3-1, and it looked like Edmonton was a lock for a victory.

The Oil Kings had controlled play from the start of the second period up to that point in the third period. It seemed like the Blades were skating in quick sand.

Tristen Robins, right, celebrates his OT winner.
Just when it appeared the Blades were out of it, they seemingly got back into the contest out of nowhere. With 5:12 remaining in the third, the Oil Kings coughed the puck up in their own zone to Blades star overage centre Tristen Robins, who was alone beside the Edmonton goal along with linemate Brandon Lisowsky.

Robins had the puck by the right side of Edmonton net and passed it across the face of the goal to Lisowsky. Lisowsky buried a shot into an open cage to cut the Oil Kings lead to 3-2.

From that point, momentum turned full force on the side of the Blades.

Just 52 second later, Lisowsky potted his second of the contest to tie things up at 3-3, when he blew down the left wing and wired home a shot past Oil Kings netminder Sebastian Cossa.

Tristen Robins had a goal and an assist for the Blades on Tuesday.
Inside of the final minute of the third, the Blades had the Oil Kings net under siege, and Cossa had to first rob Robins and then Lisowsky on close in chances to allow the contest to go to overtime.

Just 50 seconds into overtime, Robins took a pass at the right side of the Edmonton goal and faced Cossa one-on-one. The Clear Lake, Man., product proceeded to pop home the winning goal to deliver the Blades to a 4-3 victory to the delightful surprise of the 2,380 spectators in attendance.

The win allowed the Blades, who are rated eight in the CHL Top 10 rankings, to improve to 10-4-1. The Oil Kings, who are rated third in the CHL Top 10 rankings, saw their record move to 9-3-2-1.

Brandon Lisowsky (#8) had a pair of goals for the Blades.
During the course of a 68-game regular season, teams have to find ways to win games, when they are not at their best.

The Blades did that at an opportune time on Tuesday. Having lost their previous two straight games to their archrivals the Prince Albert Raiders by a combined score of 10-3, the Blades were looking at going into a stretch of playing nine straight games on the road on a three-game skid.

The Blades are vacating their home rink as the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials will take place at the SaskTel Centre from November 20 to 28.

They hit the road for nine straight games beginning on Friday, when they stop in Brandon to face the Wheat Kings (6 p.m. Saskatchewan time, 600 CJWW).

The Blades celebrate an equalizer from Brandon Lisowsky (#8).
The next game at the SaskTel Centre for the Blades is on Friday, December 10 at 7 p.m. against the Calgary Hitmen.

Thanks to Tuesday’s miraculous comeback win, the Blades will head on the road with optimism and not have work against getting overly caught up in trying to get off a down stretch.

With that said, the Blades looked like they were going to have a good outing as they got out to a strong start Tuesday keeping the Oil Kings pinned in their own zone for most of the first seven minutes of the contest.

Despite that pressure by Saskatoon, the Oil Kings got the first best scoring chance of the contest, when right-winger Dylan Guenther was denied on a wraparound counting as his team’s first shot coming at the 7:09 mark of the frame.

Jakub Demek had a goal for the Oil Kings.
The Blades proceeded to apply pressure after that chance, and Robins got robbed close in by Cossa near the end of the opening frame, which saw the Blades hold an 8-5 edge in shots on goal.

The Oil Kings found another gear in the second period keeping the Blades pinned in their own zone for most of the frame.

The visitors broke through on the scoreboard at the 10:54 mark of the second period. On a rush into the Saskatoon zone, Oil Kings left-winger Jalen Luypen broke down the left wing and found right-winger Josh Williams with a smart pass at the right side of the Blades net.

Williams received the pass with a little breathing room and the 20-year-old tucked home his seventh of the season to give the Oil Kings a 1-0 edge.

Dylan Guenther scored the Oil Kings second goal.
Just under two minutes later, the Oil Kings struck on the power play as Guenther slipped home a shot off the post and in to increase the advantage of the visitors to 2-0.

Edmonton held a 17-5 edge in shots on goal in the second period.

When it seemed everything was going the Oil Kings way, the Blades appeared to get a traction moment at the 2:34 mark of the third. With the Oil Kings on the power play, Blades 18-year-old centre Jayden Wiens collected a loose puck on the Edmonton blue-line by the left wing boards.

Blades G Nolan Maier makes one of his 29 saves.
Wiens burst up ice, cut across the front of the Edmonton goal and slipped home a backhand shot for a short-handed tally that cut the Oil Kings edge to 2-1.

That traction moment evaporated quickly. 

Just over four minutes later, Oil Kings import centre Jakub Demek snuck in a shot from a bad angle at the left side of the Blades net short side to give the visitors a 3-1 edge.

At that point, Edmonton seemed in complete control. It only set the scene for the Blades to pull out victory with their dramatics at the end.

Jayden Wiens (#9) jets win a puck battle.
Nolan Maier made29 stops to pick up the win in goal for the Blades, which was his 99th career victory in regular season play. Maier is trying to become the first Blades netminder to even record 100 career regular season wins.

Sebastian Cossa turned away 20 shots in net for the Oil Kings.

Following the Blades dramatic comeback, all the Oil Kings could do was look to get back on track when they return to action on Wednesday, when they travel to Prince Albert to take on the Raiders (7 p.m., Art Hauser Centre).

Tristen Robins (#11) is all smiles after the Blades OT victory.
As for the Blades, they likely can’t wait to get back on the ice to keep building on the momentum they’ve gained.

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