Warman, SK – The Saskatoon Blades kept their perfect pre-season record in tact on Saturday night with a 4-3 shootout win over the Prince Albert Raiders at the Legends Centre in Warman. The win puts the Blades at 5-0 on the 2018 pre-season with two more games before the regular season begins.
The game didn’t start in favour of the Blades as Spencer Moe opened the scoring for the Raiders just 59 seconds into the match. Prince Albert increased their lead less than five minutes later thanks to Kody McDonald, which held up through the first period.
Kirby Dach cut the lead in half with a power play goal 1:18 into the second period. Michael Farren and Brad Goethals chipped in with the assists. Shortly after, the Raiders restored their two goal lead as Lane Kirk’s seeing-eye point shot found a way through traffic and past Koen MacInnes.
Michael Farren made good use of the man advantage and got the Blades back within one midway through the second stanza. Then with under three minutes to play, Farren teamed up with Brad Goethals for a pretty passing play resulting in Goethals’ 3rd goal of the pre-season, tying the game at 3-3 after 40 minutes.
Neither team lit the lamp in the third period, giving fans in Warman more than their money’s worth with a full five minutes of 3-on-3 overtime. Both teams exchanged chances but nothing was solved, forcing a shootout.
Kirby Dach went first but was unsuccessful, as was Prince Albert’s first shooter, Kody McDonald. Then Brad Goethals ripped a wrist shot to start the second round while Koen MacInnes stood tall at the other. This set the stage for Michael Farren to win the game, and the 18-year-old winger did just that with a silky, smooth deke to his backhand going up high past Raiders netminder Donovan Buskey.
Farren was named the first star of the game with a goal, 2 assists, and the shootout winner. Farren’s line mates Kirby Dach (1G, 1A) and Brad Goethals (1G, 1A, shootout goal) also had two points each.
Koen MacInnes earned his third and what was likely his toughest win of the pre-season, stopping 35 of 38 shots faced. MacInnes, who was a 2017 2nd round pick of the Blades, is now 3-0 with a .929SV% and 2.27GAA in three starts this month. Donovan Buskey went 33/36 at the other end which was good enough for 2nd star honours. Brad Goethals’ 2-point night got him the call out for third star.
The Blades still have two more games left on the exhibition schedule. Thursday night the Regina Pats visit SaskTel Centre and then next Saturday the Blades travel to Prince Albert for meeting number four with their rivals to close out the pre-season.
**photos by Lucas Chudleigh/Apollo Media**
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