Swift Current, SK – The Saskatoon Blades closed out the 2017 calendar in dramatic fashion coming back not once, but twice in the final period to beat the Swift Current Broncos by a score of 4-3. The win gives the Blades their longest win streak of the season at four in a row and for the first time leaves them more wins than losses now sitting at 18-17-2-1 on the season.
Chase Wouters and his line mates once again provided a steady stream of offense as him and Braylon Shmyr and Josh Paterson all tallied 2 points on the night.
However, it was the power play that got things going early for Saskatoon. Mark Rubinchik dished off to Chase Wouters’ who then found Cam Hebig alone in the high slot for his 29th of the season to put Saskatoon up 1-0 just 3:04 into the contest. Swift Current would respond later in the frame thanks to a heavy blast from Colby Sissons that found it’s way through traffic into the Blades’ net.
The second period wasn’t a strong one for Saskatoon failing to capitalize on four man advantage opportunities including an extended 5-on-3. Instead, it would be the Broncos scoring the only goal in the middle frame to take a 2-1 lead into the third.
Coming off his first career hat-trick on Thursday, Josh Paterson tied things up for Saskatoon with a “Patty-on-the-spot” rebound after Broncos net minder Joel Hofer made the initial save off a shot from Braylon Shmyr. Jake Kustra picked up the secondary helper, but before the public address announcer could let the crowd know, the Broncos would regain the lead. A pass from the corner intended for a streaking Bronco player was redirected by Josh Paterson who was trying to intercept and it ended up in the back of the Blades net as Nolan Maier was also repositioning in anticipation of the pass. The goals came 22 seconds apart but the Blades didn’t let the mishap slow them down.
Just over two minutes later the Blades were back on the man advantage and Josh Paterson got his redemption. With a stick too hot to touch as of late, Paterson again tucked in a rebound on the edge of the crease to tie the game at 3-3 with over 11 minutes remaining in the game. Chase Wouters and Cam Hebig assisted on the tying tally, each picking up their second points of the evening. The goal was Paterson’s 18th of the season, 5th in his last 2 outings, and extends his goal scoring streak to four games with 7 tucks in that span. The 18-year-old winger seems to have found his stride posting 15 points in his last 11 games, proving as a reliable source of secondary scoring behind Braylon Shmyr and Cameron Hebig.
After erasing 2-1 and 3-2 deficits, the Blades decided to take their second lead of the game which again came from another hot stick. Braylon Shmyr streaked in on the left wing, cut to the slot and then turned on a dime back to the outside nearly breaking the ankles of the defender and getting Joel Hofer to shift just enough to his blocker side before ripping his 18th of the season high glove side with 4:35 left in the game. The score would hold up as the game winner also giving Shmyr 2 points on the night extending his point streak to 4 games (4G-9A).
For the second straight game Josh Paterson was named the 1st star, Beck Malenstyn had 2 points to take 2nd star honours for Swift, and Braylon Shmyr’s goal and assist were good enough for 3rd.
Nolan Maier stopped 29/32 shots faced to pick up his 10th career win in the WHL and extend a streak of his own, winning each of his last 7 starts. Saskatoon went 2/6 on the power play while shutting down the league’s best unit on the other side on all three of their opportunities.
The Blades now have 39 points on the season and despite the Regina Pats also winning on Saturday night to give them 39 points, the Blades occupy the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference and remain ahead of the Pats with one game in hand.
The Blades and Broncos will meet again for a rematch, and meeting number 7 of the season series on Monday, January, 1st at SaskTel Centre, game time is 2:00pm.