RECAP: Blades salvage single point in OT loss to Hitmen

Saskatoon, SK – With the Blades on the brink, Friday night’s encounter with the Calgary Hitmen needed to be a matter-of-fact win but the Saskatoon Blades only managed to take a single point falling 5-4 in overtime. The Blades record now sits at 32-31-3-1 on the season and due to a Prince Albert win the point spread for the final playoff spot now sits at 5.

A six goal first period set the tone for the evening, with the Hitmen thriving in their role of spoilers. The Blades struck first as Max Gerlach sprung Logan Christensen and Gage Ramsay on an odd-man-rush with Christensen’s set up allowing Ramsay to tap in a straight forward goal into a relatively wide-open net 1:48 into the contest. The Hitmen responded almost immediately, scoring an easy backdoor goal of their own after Tristen Nielson & Carson Focht made their way past the Blades’ blue-liners at 17:22, leaving little chance for Nolan Maier on a two-on-none passing play. 

As nearly over 10 minutes passed, Saskatoon took back their lead when Chase Wouters, Braylon Shmyr and Josh Paterson linked up to score a beautiful passing-play-goal. The goal is Paterson’s 30th of the season and comes in his 200th WHL game.

Mark Rubinchik then made it 3-1 Blades after another odd-man-rush saw Gerlach setting up Ramsay for what would have been his second goal of the night. Instead, Nick Schneider made the initial save on Ramsay’s shot, though the puck spilled right out in front where Rubinchik banged home his third goal of the season with a big golf swing.

Carrying momentum,  the Bridge-City-Bunch then went onto the game’s first power play of the evening – but it was more of a nightmare than an advantage. The Hitmen scored shorthanded twice, with the first coming at 4:34 to cut the Blades to 3-2. Their second shorthanded goal, scored on the same Saskatoon power play as their first, came after video review when a shot appeared to rattle off the cross-bar had actually gone into he goal and bounced off the centre bar at 3:23. Thus the wild opening period ended with a 3-3 tie as the Hitmen lead in the shot department 11 to 7.

The second period contrasted strongly with the first, as both sides struggled to score with sloppy plays that lead to minimum offence. The Hitmen continued their lead in the shot department, adding another 12 shots to the Blades 6.


To the relief of home fans, Shmyr scored 41 seconds into the third period from close range to retake the lead for the boys wearing white, blue, and gold. Receiving the puck from Wouters via Paterson, Shmyr completed a wrap-around attempt that went into the back of the net off an opponents skate to put the Blades up 4-3. The goal was Shmyr’s 8th against the Hitmen this season.

After a lengthy period of time stuck in Saskatoon’s defensive zone, the Hitmen tied it back up at 11:25. The tied score saw the clock run out and regulation ended 4-4, sending the game to overtime. The Blades finished regulation being outshot 31-23.

Then in the extra frame Tristen Nielsen completed his hat-trick scoring the game winning goal 1:58 in and sending a dagger through the heart of fans at SaskTel Centre.

Now trailing the Prince Albert Raiders by five points for the final wild card spot the Blades will look to rebound tomorrow night against the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings.



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