photo by Rick Elvin
Saskatoon, SK – For the first time in nearly a month the Blades dropped back-to-back losses this weekend after coming up short against the league leading Moose Jaw Warriors Sunday afternoon in a 4-2 contest. The loss leaves Saskatoon with a 31-39-2-1 record, still hanging on to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference ahead of the Prince Albert Raiders by two points.
Moose Jaw opened the scoring 1:52 into the match. Carrying the puck behind the net, Brayden Burke drew the vision of all the Blades and sneakily fed the biscuit diagonally to the front of the crease where an un-marked Ryan Peckford made it 1-0 Warriors.
The Warriors couldn’t hold onto their lead for too long however, as Braylon Shmyr tucked in a rebound right in the crease that was created by a Mark Rubinchik point-shot. The goal was Shmyr’s 33rd of the season. The first period ended with the scores tied and Saskatoon leading the shot-count 14 to 12.
The blue & gold fell behind again within the first five minutes of the second period as the Warriors found themselves with an odd-man-rush and took full advantage with Brayden Burke collecting his own rebound to make it 2-1. Burke added another with just over five minutes left in the period, giving Moose Jaw a 3-1 lead at the final break of the match.
In the final frame, Josh Paterson got the Blades within one. Paterson redirected a blazing point shot from Jake Kustra for his 27th tally of the season; Chase Wouters added the secondary assist to extend his point streak to 4 games. The goal was also Paterson’s 100th career point in the WHL.
The Blades did their best to even things up but just couldn’t find the back of the net. Moose Jaw would go on to add an empty netter from Jayden Halbgewachs- his 59th of the season- to seal the 4-2 victory.
Nolan Maier had another strong performance stopping 32/35 shots faced to be named the game’s 2nd star. Brayden Burke’s 3 points for Moose Jaw were good enough for 1st star while Warriors netminder Adam Evanoff’s 33 saves earned him 3rd star of the game.
Saskatoon’s penalty kill was good stopping Moose Jaw on all 3 attempts but the Blades’ power play struck out going 0/4. Next up for the Bridge City Bunch is Lethbridge. The Hurricanes come to SaskTel Centre on Friday; game time is 7:00pm.