Saskatoon, SK – The Saskatoon Blades watched a 4-0 lead disappear on Friday night, eventually falling 7-5 to the Regina Pats at SaskTel Centre. The loss drops the Blades record to 31-28-2-1 on the season, while the Pats move 7 points ahead of the blue & gold in the East Division.
Coming off a successful road trip the Blades got out to a great start opening the scoring early on their first power play. Michael Farren worked the puck around the zone laterally to Max Gerlach who was sitting near the left goal post. Drawing the attention of the Pats, Gerlach then lightly passed the puck across the goaltender’s crease to Kirby Dach who was able to tap home his 5th goal of the season at 3:37 into the game to give the Blades a 1-0 lead.
With just over three minutes left in the first period, the Blades added two more goals to their lead to finish the opening segment up 3-0 over Regina. First, Seth Bafaro made it 2-0 by sniping in a smooth sailing shot from the point after a Bradly Goethals’ face-off win set him up. Eric Florchuk then joined the scorers’ sheet, giving the Blades a 3-0 lead on their second power play goal of the night. Florchuk beat Jacob Wesserman low short-side from the slot and was set up by Dach and Gerlach who each earned their second points of the night on the play.
Saskatoon jumped out to a 4-0 lead at the 12:13 mark of the second period. Gage Ramsay was gifted a goal by Wasserman who came out of his crease to play the puck in the corner but mistakenly fed Ramsay the slot, allowing him to walk the puck into an empty net.
However, the second stanza of play was largely dominated by the Pats, who outshot the Blades 17 to 7. Consequently, Regina finally found a way to beat Nolan Maier, scoring on the power play through Cameron Hebig before Koby Morrisseau added another to halve Saskatoon’s lead to 4-2.
The final frame began how the second ended, with the Regina Pats applying tremendous pressure to the Blades two goal lead. Two quick Regina goals to Robbie Holmes and Matt Bradley stunned the crowd at SaskTel Centre, tying the game at 4-4 with 16:17 left on the clock. The Blades were quick to respond thanks to Chase Wouters’ 17th of the season, but the lead was short-lived.
Sam Steel tied the game at 5-5 minutes later before Jared Legien snuck in on a breakaway to give Regina their first lead of the game. The Blades pulled Maier in an effort to tie the game but instead Matt Bradley put the nail in the coffin with his 2nd of the game to complete the comeback for the Pats.
The Blades will sit idle on Saturday and likely do some scoreboard watching before getting set to host the Moose Jaw Warriors on Sunday afternoon at 2:00pm.