Today…The Saskatoon Blades (19-22-5-1 – 44pts) look to extend their win streak to 5 games as they host the Swift Current Broncos (25-15-3-5 – 58pts) at 2:00pm. This is game number 6 of 8 this season between these two East Division rivals. Both previous meetings went to overtime with the Broncos coming out on top in each game. Swift Current also leads the season series with 4 of a possible 5 wins so far against Saskatoon.
The Last Game… Saskatoon earned their 4th straight win on Friday night with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. Josh Paterson scored in the 5th round to win the game while Logan Flodell went 4/5 against Brandon’s shooters. The Broncos have a quick turnaround after a 6-5 loss at home last night to the league leading Regina Pats. Swift Current has just 1 win in their last 5 games.
All four one… The Blades are currently riding a 4 game win streak which has them sitting in the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. It’s the longest win streak of the season during their longest home stretch of the year up to this point. The offense has been a large factor averaging 4 goals scored per game over the last four wins.
Feeling Special… Saskatoon’s special teams have been clicking as of late. The power play is clipping along above 30% going 6/15 in the last 4 games… The PK has been nearly flawless going 12/14 with 1 short-handed goal.
Pitter Paterson… ’99 F Josh Paterson was ranked 163rd among North American skaters earlier last week in the NHL Central Scouting Midterm Rankings, and he must have thought he deserves better. Paterson put up 3 assists on Wednesday against the Medicine Hat Tigers and then scored the shootout winning goal on Friday against Brandon. Paterson now has 24 points in 47 games this season for Saskatoon, and has found a nice home on the top line with Jesse Shynkaruk and Braylon Shmyr.
Welcome to the Flo Show…Logan Flodell has earned 1st star honours in back to back games for Saskatoon posting a .941SV% in each game. The 19 year old Regina product has made 5 consecutive starts and has been a big factor in the Blades 4 game win streak. In 31 games this season, Flodell has a .911SV% and 2 shutouts.
Leading the charge… Braylon Shmyr and Jesse Shynkaruk continue to drive the Blades offense on a nightly basis. Shmyr (’97) leads the team with 40 points in 47 games while Shynkaruk is right behind with 31 points in 34 games played. Shynkaruk has 6 goals in his last 4 games including a shootout goal against Brandon on Friday. Shmyr has 4 goals and 7 points in his last 4 outings.
Midterm Ranking… ’99 F Josh Paterson (163rd) & ’99 D Mark Rubinchik (119th) were ranked in the NHL Central Scouting Mid-Term Rankings earlier this week. Paterson who is 6’2” is in his 2nd season in the WHL and has 24 points playing in all 47 games this season for the Blades. Rubinchik, who was the 7th overall pick in the 2016 CHL import draft, has 12 assists and 39 penalty minutes in 38 games in his rookie campaign in the WHL.
Injury report… The Saskatoon Blades are currently without 3 forwards in the lineup. Cam Hebig has yet to dress for a game this season and remains on a week-to-week status with an upper body injury. Hebig had 69 pts in 59 GP last season for Saskatoon. Mason McCarty suffered a setback in his rehab, and could be another 3 weeks away from returning to the lineup after suffering a lower body injury in late November. McCarty has 23 pts in 26 games this season. Markson Bechtold was acquired in a blockbuster trade before Christmas, and suffered an upper body injury in the first game of the second half. Bechtold is listed as week-to-week.