It’s a strange feeling going through a weekend in the middle of the season without a hockey game. Although it wasn’t a complete weekend without hockey as the Blades played Friday at home, it’s still uncommon to have a Saturday and Sunday off at this point of the season. Not to worry, the Blades will play 3 games in 3 nights during each of the next two weekends.
Last week in Blade City a couple roster announcements were made featuring some of the Blades’ young stars. On Tuesday, Hockey Canada announced their 66 player roster for the upcoming World U17 Challenge which including two Blades rookies in forward Kyle Crnkovic and defenceman Aidan De La Gorgendiere. While De La Gorgendiere has appeared in all 12 games this season for Saskatoon, Crnkovic made his season debut on Friday night after recovering from an injury sustained in training camp. Both De La Gorgendiere and Crnkovic were selected in the 1st round of the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft.
Hockey Canada has yet to announce how the 66 players will be divided into the three Canadian rosters for the tournament, but the Blades will plan to be without Aidan and Kyle from October 29th until November 10th. Last year, Kirby Dach and Nolan Maier played in the tournament, and captain Chase Wouters the year prior.
Then on Wednesday the WHL announced their roster for the 2018 CIBC Canada Russia series. 17-year-old centre Kirby Dach was one of three 2001 born players selected to play for the WHL’s all-star team. The WHL will take on Russia on November 5th and 6th in Kamloops and Vancouver. The entire WHL schedule pauses during that week with no games scheduled from November 5th – 8th. The schedule resumes on Friday, November 9th.
Later on Wednesday, Saskatoon played host to the Calgary Hitmen and dropped a 5-4 decision in overtime. Brady Nicholas was given a major penalty and game misconduct in the first period of that game which resulted in a 2-game suspension from the WHL.
Thankfully for the Blades, Kyle Crnkovic was given the green light from the medical staff to return to the lineup on Friday night to give the club *knock on wood* 12 healthy forwards.
The Spokane Chiefs, leaders of the U.S. Division upon arrival in Saskatoon on Friday, earned a single point against the Blades after Kirby Dach registered his third 3-or-more point game getting in on all three Blades’ goals in the 3-2 victory. That performance extended Dach’s point streak to 8 games (4 goals, 11 assists).
Dach isn’t the only one putting together a point streak in Blade City. Alternate captain Dawson Davidson has 16 points in his last 9 games, Max Gerlach has 7 points in his last 4, and Eric Florchuk has 6 points in his last 4 outings.
They’ll look to keep those going and more importantly close out their 5-game home stretch with a 2 points this coming Wednesday when the Everett Silvertips come to town.
A tip of the cap to Blades goaltending prospect Brodie Guenther who is quite the young athlete. Over the weekend Brodie was named the 2018 Baseball Sask Minor Player of the Year. Guenther, originally from Warman, was selected by the Blades in the 2018 bantam draft. Him along with fellow Blades prospect, Garin Scherr, took home silver back in September at the U15 Ray Carter Cup (Canadian Nationals) as members of Team Saskatchewan. The reason neither of them were able to attend Blades camp at the end of August.
Off the ice, the Blades begin their annual school visits on Monday in partnership with the Lung Association to promote healthy lifestyles. Players will visit four schools this week and another two next week.
–Thanks for reading