RECAP: Blades complete comeback to steal 2 points from Rebels
Red Deer, AB – The Saskatoon Blades opened up their road trip in Red Deer on Saturday night with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Rebels. The win keeps the Blades 7 points ahead of the Prince Albert Raiders for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, improving their regular season record to 22-19-2-1.
The game didn’t start in favour for the Bridge City Bunch as the Rebels opened the scoring midway through the first period. Grayson Pawlenchuk was the recipient of a nifty feed from former Blade Mason McCarty to put the Rebels up 1-0 just as Dawson Davidson stepped back on the ice out of the penalty box.
In the middle frame the Rebels added to their lead as Mason McCarty once again struck, this time finishing off the play for his 22nd goal of the season. Saskatoon managed to respond to cut the deficit to one heading into the final break thanks to a wicked wrister from Max Gerlach. Evan Fiala assisted as did Eric Florchuk in his first game in a Blades uniform.
Saskatoon’s lacklustre effort continued with flashes of energy as the Rebels started to show signs of slowing down in the final period. Eventually the Blades would tie the game but not before a couple close calls. With the net empty and an extra attacker on the ice, Red Deer got control and entered the offensive zone. A couple broken plays lead to a quality chance for Mason McCarty to bury in the yawning cage but Jake Kustra laid out in a classic Marty Brodeur pad-stacking style maneuver to block McCarty’s shot and send the play back up the ice.
Josh Paterson then pounced on a puck in the slot to one-time his 21st goal of the season over the glove of rookie netminder Ethan Anders tying the game at 2-2 with just 1:43 remaining in regulation.
The game was forced into extra time still knotted at 2-2 with Red Deer gaining possession off the opening draw. Alex Alexeyev burst down the left wing on a 2-on-1 with Reece Johnson in the slot. Alexeyev elected to shoot and Nolan Maier gobbled up the puck ensuring a rebound was nowhere to be found.
Then almost identical to his first goal but from the opposite side, Max Gerlach ripped another wrist shot past Ethan Anders to complete the comeback and win the game for Saskatoon 1:21 into the extra frame.
Gerlach’s 2 goals and assist on the night earned the new Blade 1st star honours. Josh Paterson extended his point streak to 10 games and captain Evan Fiala chipped in with 2 helpers. Dawson Davidson assisted on the overtime winner to earn his first point as a member of the Blades and rookie goalie Nolan Maier made 23 saves for his 14th win of the season.
The Blades will head to Cranbrook for the first time this season to take on the Kootenay ICE on Sunday at 4:00pm MST, 5:00pm Saskatchewan time.