Saskatoon’s streak of scoring at least one goal in a game was ended on Sunday night in Edmonton as Tristan Jarry and the Oil Kings shutout Saskatoon 4-0. The clean slate for Edmonton marked the first time in the past 82 games that the Blades didn’t score at least once in a game.
The first period didn’t start off on the right foot for Saskatoon as the Oil Kings came with heavy pressure as soon as the puck was dropped, jumping out to an early 4-0 lead on the shot clock. That pressure eventually paid off as Luke Bertolucci got Edmonton out to a 1-0 lead at 2:11 when he capitalized on a turnover in the neutral zone, walked down the wing, fought off Graeme Craig and slid the puck past Troy Trombley for his first goal of 2013-14. Saskatoon continued to be hemmed in their own zone after that, killing off a pair of penalties but trailing on the shot clock 11-1 at the first period media timeout. After that, the Oil Kings extended the lead to 2-0 when Cole Benson beat Trombley from near the goal line, netting his 3rd of the year at 14:51. The goal chased Trombley from the net, who was beaten twice on 15 shots. He was replaced by Alex Moodie, who made 6 stops in the remainder of the first period as the Oil Kings held a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes. Shots were 21-2 for the Oil Kings in the first period.
The start of the second period was much different than the first for Saskatoon. For starters, Blades goalie Troy Trombley was in the cage after being pulled in the first. Secondly, the Blades had their legs and were creating chances to start the period. Saskatoon jumped out to a 3-1 shot advantage in the opening minutes of the frame with the Scherbak-Burns-Graham line putting together a pair of nice shifts back to back with Burns, Scherbak and Clayton Kirichenko all having decent chances, with Oil Kings goalie Tristan Jarry having the answers. Speaking of Trombley, he responded well in the frame after being pulled in the first. 6:53 into the period he stopped Brandon Baddock on a quick chance after he took a feed from Cole Benson. Trombley also had a pair of nice stops on Brett Pollock and Lane Bauer with Saskatoon shorthanded near the middle of the frame. Saskatoon had their own chances before the frame was out with Scherbak feeding Graham on the rush and Scherbak also getting stopped on his own attempt minutes later, with the Oil Kings taking their 2-0 lead into the second intermission.
Saskatoon had a pair of good chances to start the third period, with Nikita Scherbak having a good look in the opening 30 seconds while rushing down the left wing. He failed to get off a great shot and was knocked down hard into the end boards, with Saskatoon getting another look seconds later as a Matt Revel pass to Burns on a 2 on 0 rush was just deflected wide of Jarry’s cage. The Oil Kings then extended the lead to 3-0 with Reid Petryk netting his 6th of the season. The tally came as a shot from Cody Corbett rang off the post and went right to Petryk, who slid the puck home past Trombley who wasn’t quick enough moving to his left. The Oil Kings didn’t hold back as 1:01 later they extended the lead to 4-0 when Lane Bauer walked down the left wing and unleashed a hard wrister that handcuffed Trombley, giving him his 4th of the season at 4:47. Saskatoon continued to push throughout the period, trying to break the blank slate. Ryan Coghlan unleashed a hard point shot with 5:40 to play as it deflected just wide through a crowd. Then with 2:45 to play Ryan Graham had arguably the team’s best chance of the game as he cut down the right wing, to the front of the net and tried to jam it past Jarry, but the big Oil Kings goalie held his ground. That would be the best late chance for Saskatoon as the Oil Kings would hold on, blanking the Blades 4-0. The shutout was the first time the Blades have been blanked in the past 82 games. The shots were 48-27 for Edmonton, with Petryk, Bertolucci and Jarry being named as the three stars.
The Blades now play host to the Kelowna Rockets on Tuesday, December 17th to close out their schedule before the Christmas break in the WHL. The Blades have a special ticket offer that night as kid’s get into the game for only $5! You can go ahead and get tickets for that game here.