Blades Dump Raiders On Ukrainian Night

The Saskatoon Blades enter their week-long break with two wins in a row as they dumped the Prince Albert Raiders 6-3 on Ukrainian Night on Friday night.

Josh Nicholls led the way for Saskatoon in his 300th career regular season WHL game as he was named 1st star after posting 2 goals and an assist.

Despite the win, the game got off on the wrong foot for Saskatoon as the Raiders opened the scoring only 14 seconds in with Anthony Bardaro tallying his 16th of the season.  But, at 9:18 of the period the Blades would even the score as Darren Dietz walked into the slot and fired home his 11th of the season to make it 1-1.

That was the score through 20 minutes as the shots were 19-16 Saskatoon in the period.

The Blades took their first lead of the night early in the 2nd frame though as Lukas Sutter scored his 5th of the season at :57 seconds as he jumped out of the penalty box and went to the backhand on a breakaway, beating Luke Siemens.  Before the period was up, the Blades made it a 3-1 game as they scored on the powerplay as Shayne Gwinner fired home a wrist shot at 17:03 of the 2nd.  Saskatoon finished the frame up 3-1 with a 38-28 shot advantage.

Josh Nicholls then tallied his first of the night on a shorthanded breakaway at 13:28 of the 3rd to make it a 4-1 game.  The goal came off a great feed from Darren Dietz, who banked it off the boards to Nicholls.  But, the Raiders had an answer as Jayden Hart scored less than a minute later on the PP.  But, the Blades regained their lead at 16:29 as Nicholls scored from the slot off a feed from Shane McColgan to make it 5-2.  Prince Albert answered again to make it 5-3, but Adam Kambeitz registered the empty netter, also scoring in his 300th career game to make it a 6-3 final.

With the pair of goals, Nicholls took the outright lead in WHL goal scoring, while Darren Dietz took the lead for all defenceman in the WHL by scoring his 11th of the season.

Patrick Johnson made 36 saves for the win while Luke Siemens made 40 saves in the loss. On special teams the Blades were 1 for 4 on PP while the Raiders were 1 for 7.

The Blades now have a week off before they play again as they host the Red Deer Rebels on January 11th as the Toronto Blue Jays are in town for that game.  Get tickets here. Just prior to that is the WHL trade deadline on the 10th, so it’s sure to be an exciting week for the Blades.

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