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RECAP: Fiala leads troops over Pats Friday night in Regina

Regina, SK – The captain is the leader for a reason, and Evan Fiala proved his worth on Friday night in Regina scoring 2 goals including the overtime winner to lead the Blades to their 3rd straight victory; a 4-3 overtime win in Regina over the Pats. The win gives Saskatoon a 14-16-2-1 record on the season with two more contests remaining before the holiday break.

The first period didn’t exactly live up to expectations as both teams got out to a fairly slow and sloppy start. The Blades ruined two of their power play chances by taking their own minor penalties but thankfully went 3/3 on the penalty kill in the opening 20 minutes. Former Blade, Wyatt Sloboshan, opened the scoring with a wrister through the 5-hole of Nolan Maier for his 4th goal of the season; the only tally in the opening 20 minutes.

Captain Evan Fiala attempted to spark his club with a spirited bout at centre ice with Bryce Platt. The two heavyweights stood tall until the officials intervened– Fiala would take the decision with a flurry of left jabs. Regina took a 10-3 lead on the shot clock into the first break.

The second period saw a couple questionable scenarios that had the Blades bench frustrated, but luckily the team didn’t lose their composure. The first was a goal from the Pats’ 3:13 into the period where Bryce Platt was laid out in the Saskatoon crease preventing Nolan Maier from making a save and giving the home side a 2-0 lead. Shortly after that, Cam Hebig pounced on a feed in the low slot from Tyler Lees that appeared to have possibly crossed the line underneath the pad of Regina tender, Tyler Brown. However, there was no review and play resumed.

Finally the Blades broke through on an extended 5-on-3 advantage thanks to a wrist shot through traffic from Mark Rubinchik. The Russian defender’s 2nd of the season gave the Blades some life heading into the final frame.

Saskatoon appeared energized to start the 3rd, and quickly drew a penalty but before the Pats could touch up, Kirby Dach found Evan Fiala down low for the equalizer. Later in the period, a battle along the wall in the neutral zone resulted in Josh Paterson coming away with a clear lane to the net. The 18-year-old veteran quickly snapped a shot over the blocker of Tyler Brown from above the circles to give the Blades’ their first lead of the hockey game and stun the Regina faithful.

The Pats’ didn’t roll over though, as their power play eventually broke through on their fifth look. Saskatoon product Jake Leschyshyn batted his own rebound through a crowd to tie the game at 3-3 with under 5 minutes and send the game to overtime.

Both teams had at least one decent chance in the extra frame until the Blades captain went to work again. Evan Fiala took a feed from Kirby Dach all alone in the slot, Tyler Brown made the initial save but couldn’t recover the loose puck ad Fiala put the nail in the coffin with a soft backhand flip over the scrambling Regina goalie. Fiala’s 2nd of the night ended the game with 1:16 left on the clock in overtime.

Fiala’s 2 goals and a fight earned 2nd star honours on the night while 16-year-old rookie netminder, Nolan Maier was named the 1st star of the game thanks to his 30 save performance for his 3rd straight win (6th of his career). Regina goalie Tyler Brown was named 3rd star of the game for stopping 22 saves on 26 shots.

The Blades will now travel back to Saskatoon for a pair of home games to close out the first half of the season. First up are the Kelowna Rockets on Saturday night at SaskTel Centre, followed by a matinee rematch with the Regina Pats on Sunday afternoon at 4:00pm.

 

The next home game for the Blades is Saturday, December 16th versus the Kelowna Rockets. Click here for tickets or call 306.975.8844 to book your group night or experience package!

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