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Blades Fall 4-2 to Portland

Tonight's game will mark the return of Ondrej Fiala to Everett where he began his Western Hockey League career with two full season's with the Tips.  Fiala was acquired by the Blades in early October for a 3rd round pick and has been a spark plug for the Blades, recording 3 goals and 4 assists in 6 games.

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The Blades lost their fourth straight game last night in Portland by allowing 3 unanswered goals to the Hawks.  The Blades jumped out to an early 2-1 lead thanks to a power play marker from Jyri Niemi and a shorthanded goal from captain Justin McCrae.  Portland then responded with two goals from captain Frazer McLaren and a 4th goal from Chris Francis.  Former Medicine Hat Tiger Tyler Swystun scored the Hawk's first goal on the power play with 1:03 remaining in the 1st period, making the final score 4-2.

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Braden Holtby took the loss in goal for the Blades, allowing 4 goals against on 34 shots while Mark Guggenberger stopped 29 of Saskatoon's 31 shots.  The Blades power play was 1 for 3 on the night while their penalty kill was 4 for 5.

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Rookie defenseman Jyri Niemi now has 6 goals on the season which has him sitting 2nd amongst WHL blue liners, trailing Logan Pyett of the Regina Pats.  Niemi's 10 points have him sitting 13th in defensive scoring in the league.

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The Blades power play is currently 4th in the WHL with a 20.3% success rate thanks to 15 power play goals, 3 of which have come off the stick of Niemi.
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