The Saskatoon Blades made their final visit to Western Financial Place in Cranbrook a memorable one on Friday night with an 8-3 victory to extend their winning streak to six games. Saskatoon also improves their unbeaten streak to 12 games at 10-0-2-0 and an overall record of 36-13-8-0.
The Blades were firing on all cylinders Friday night and the onslaught began early. Max Gerlach (36) and Eric Florchuk (19) scored on the first two shots on goal for the Blades to make it 2-0. Florchuk’s tally was his 100th career point in the Western Hcokey League. Kyle Crnkovic (8) then made it 3-0 on Saskatoon’s first power play of the game.
Eric Florchuk (20) joined the 20 goal club with his 2nd of the night, again coming on the power play 7:01 into the middle frame. Finally the ICE were able to respond through captain Peyton Krebs (19), who redirected a saucer pass from Jaeger White on a n ICE power play.
However, the momentum was short-lived as Chase Wouters (14) intercepted an errant pass in the neutral zone and proceeded to beat ICE netminder Jesse Makaj over the glove making it 5-1 for the visitors. Wouters then helped Kirby Dach set up Ryan Hughes (22) on another man advantage; 6-1 was the score after 40 minutes.
Rookie Kyle Crnkovic (9) made it 7-1 early in the third period after banking in a shot off the back of Makaj from behind the Kootenay goal. Crnkovic then assisted on the Blades’ 8th goal of the night by Ryan Hughes (23) for his fourth point of the evening.
Kootenay managed to get two more goals by Dorrin Luding courtesy of Jaeger White (22) and Martin Bodak (10), but it was too little too late as the Blades comfortably skated to the 8-3 rout.
Saskatoon outshot Kootenay 46-31, went 3/5 on the power play and 3/4 on the penalty kill.
Dorrin Luding picked up his 7th win of the season with a 28 save performance including 14 in the first period.
Eric Florchuk: 2 goals, 1 assist, 2 SOG, 11/15 in face-offs, 1st star
Kyle Crnkovic: 2 goals, 2 assists, +4, 2nd star
Ryan Hughes: 2 goals, 4 SOG
Dawson Davidson had 2 assists extending his point streak to 15 games (2G-24A).
Max Gerlach had 1G-1A to extend his point streak to 13 games (12G-11A).
Eric Florchuk’s first goal of the night was his 100th career WHL point.
Kyle Crnkovic‘s 2G-2A was his 1st career 4-point game.
Reece Harsch had 2 assists and a +2 rating.
The Blades wrap up their road trip Saturday night in Lethbridge against the Hurricanes. Next home game for the Blades is Saturday, February 23rd, versus the Kootenay ICE at 7:00pm at SaskTel Centre.