photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings
Edmonton, AB – Jake Kustra went end-to-end twice in the extra period on Monday evening before receiving a perfect pass from Braylon Shmyr to bury the overtime winning goal giving the Blades a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. The win concludes the Blades four game road trip through the Central Division in which they won three times. Saskatoon now sits at 31-27-2-1 on the season with 65 points. Thanks to a little help from the Regina Pats and Moose Jaw Warriors, the Blades are now 8 points ahead of Prince Albert and just 2 points behind the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
It was a slow start to the game on Monday; the Blades at the end of a long road trip and the Oil Kings having just returned home from a 4 game trek of their own. Neither team lit the lamp in the opening frame with Saskatoon leading 9-2 on the shot clock at the first intermission.
In the middle frame Braylon Shmyr opened the scoring with his 32nd of the season. With a pretty spin-o-rama move to around the Edmonton d-man, Shmyr then tossed a backhand on net that bounced outwards and off the body of another Edmonton defender and in. Josh Paterson was credited with the assist and the Blades took the 1-0 score into the second break.
Finally in the third period fans in Edmonton were treated to a few more goals. The first coming from Chase Wouters short-handed. While on the forecheck, Josh Paterson forced a turnover that came right to Wouters who slapped it into the yawning cage. Oil Kings’ goaltender Todd Scott was out to play the puck in the corner and dove to try and get back in time. In the process he slammed his leg on the post and was forced to leave the game with an apparent injury.
The next two goals would come from Edmonton. The first from Kobe Mohr on another lucky turnover that landed right in front of an unsuspecting Nolan Maier. The second coming from the Oil Kings’ leading scorer Trey Fix-Wolansky on the power play with just 3:16 left in the game.
Then in overtime the Blades managed to put the game away on their second shift. It was a wild sequence that saw Jake Kustra tripped up in the Edmonton zone. Kustra then got on his horse and raced back to attempt to break up an offensive chance by the Oil Kings, slamming into the end boards and taking out Edmonton captain Colton Kehler in the process. Kustra quickly got back to his feet and once again made his way down the length of the ice. This time he managed to create a little space for himself allowing Braylon Shmyr to serve up a perfect pass. Kustra then one-timed the puck over Josh Deschaine to win the game 1:37 into the extra period. Chase Wouters had the secondary assist giving him and Braylon Shmyr 2 points each on the night.
Nolan Maier had a fairly slow night at the office stopping 13 shots for his 22nd win of the season. The Blades power play went 0/4 in the contest but the penalty kill managed score a short-handed goal while going 4/5.
The Blades now return home to Saskatoon for a three game stretch at SaskTel Centre beginning with their 8th and final meeting of the year against the Regina Pats on Friday night. It’s Country Night at SaskTel Centre with prizes for Country Thunder in Craven; game time is 7:00pm.