Saskatoon, Sask. — Kirby Dach scored twice including the overtime winner as the Saskatoon Blades chopped two points from the Spokane Chiefs on Friday night at SaskTel Centre. The Blades improve their record to 8-3-1-0 on the season and will enjoy a rare weekend off before welcoming head coach Mitch Love’s former team, the Everett Silvertips, on Wednesday.
Looking to bounce back after Wednesday’s overtime loss to Calgary, the Blades brought energy to the first period on Friday night outshooting the visiting Chiefs 15-8. The hard work also forced Spokane into a few penalties which the Blades made good use of. Kirby Dach set up in Gretzky’s office on a two-man advantage and dished off to Max Gerlach who then found Washington Capitals prospect Eric Florchuk on the back door. Florchuk’s 4th of the season opened the scoring and extended Dach’s point streak to 8 games.
The U.S. Division leading Chiefs only needed eight seconds of power play time to tie the game with under two minutes remaining in the first period.
In the second period, former 1st overall bantam pick and New Jersey Devils prospect Ty Smith gave the visiting Chiefs the lead, again coming on the power play. Spokane found another gear in the second, outshooting the Blades 20-10 in the frame. However, Nolan Maier was dialled in and kept his club within one.
Then in the dying seconds of the period and under siege, Washington Capitals prospect Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen flipped the puck out of the Blades zone to relieve the pressure being poured on by the Chiefs. Max Gerlach won a foot race to the biscuit near the Spokane blue line and quickly centered a pass for a streaking Kirby Dach. The 17-year-old phenom redirected the puck past Bailey Brkin just in the knick of time to tie the game at 2-2 with 0:00.6 seconds left on the clock in the 2nd.
The third and final period was a grudge match with the Chiefs again outshooting the Blades, this time 14-6. Again, Nolan Maier was stellar to keep the Blades in the game.
Overtime was needed, already for the third time this season at SaskTel Centre. Kirby Dach collected a rebound after Eric Florchuk’s attempt was stopped, and Dach put the nail in the coffin to seal the victory for his 2nd goal of the night and 3rd point. His 3 points were only good enough for third star honours as Nolan Maier’s 41 saves got him 1st. Spokane’s netminder, Bailey Brkin, made an impressive 30 saves for the game’s second star.
Dach’s 3 points leave him in 3rd in league scoring with 22 points in 12 games this season, including 15 in his current 8-game point streak. Dawson Davidson’s overtime assist kept his point streak alive at 9 games and 16 points. Eric Florchuk (1G, 1A) and Max Gerlach (2A) also extended their point streaks to 4 games. And while Riley McKay didn’t score against his former club, he sure made his presence known and created several chances including 3 shots on goal and drawing one penalty.
The Blades will now take the weekend to practice and prepare for the final match of their 5-game stretch at home as they welcome Mitch Love’s former Everett Silvertips on Wednesday, October 24th.