GAME DAY PREVIEW: Blades take on ‘Tips in search of 4th straight win
Tonight… The Saskatoon Blades will look to make it 4 wins in a row in their only meeting of the season with the Everett Silvertips. Saskatoon currently has a 2 point lead over Calgary for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, with 1 game in hand. Meanwhile, the Silvertips are in the midst of their biannual road trip through the prairie, hoping to leap frog Seattle to get back into 1st place in the U.S. Division.
The Last Game… The Blades closed out their season series with the Brandon Wheat Kings on Saturday, edging the Wheaties 3-2 in overtime for a 3rd straight win. Jesse Shynkaruk scored twice including the game with with just 16 seconds left in OT. Carter Hart made 26 saves last night for Everett en route to 4-2 win over the Regina Pats. Everett started out their road swing with a loss in Brandon but have since picked up wins in Moose Jaw on Saturday and Regina last night.
Back in Blue… ’97 F Mason McCarty returned to the Blades lineup on the weekend after missing 27 games with a lower body injury. McCarty, who was the Blades leading scorer when he went down with injury, has provided a boost to the injury riddled Blades, posting 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 penalty minutes and a +4 rating in 2 games since returning to action. McCarty now has 25 points including 15 goals in 28 games this season. ’96 F Markson Bechtold also returns to action tonight after missing 18 games due to injury. Bechtold has only dressed for 3 games in Blades blue since being acquired from Spokane prior to Christmas. Bechtold has 9 points in 16 games this season.
Something to Dach about… Highly touted prospect, Kirby Dach, was called up to the Saskatoon Blades last week on an emergency basis to join the club full time for the rest of the season. The 2016 2nd overall bantam pick scored twice last Friday against Moose Jaw, including the game winner, and now has 3 points in 6 career WHL games.
Home Sweet Home… This is the final game of the Blades 7 game home stretch; the longest of the season. The Blades are 14-11-3 at SaskTel Centre this season and went 5-3-1 in the month of January at home, and are 3-1 so far in February. After tonight, Saskatoon hits the road for 3 games in 3 nights through the Central Division beginning Friday in Cranbrook vs Kootenay, Saturday at Lethbridge, and Sunday at Calgary.
You Don’t Sayers… ’96 D Bryton Sayers leads by example on and off the ice for the Blades, and over the past month has been leading on the scoresheet as well. Over the last 12 games, Sayers has 10 points, and is tied for the lead in assists on the Blades with 22.
Draft Watch… ’99 F Josh Paterson was listed at 163rd in the NHL Central Scouting Midterm rankings… ’99 D Mark Rubinchik was ranked 119. Paterson scored his 12th goal of the season last weekend, giving the Edmonton product 30 points (12G-18A) and is one of only 3 Blades to have played in all 55 games this season. Rubinchik had 2 assists over the weekend, totaling 18 points in 46 games this season.
Shynkaruk Shining… ’96 F Jesse Shynkaruk continues to win fans over after once again leading the Blades to victory last weekend in overtime scoring his 26th goal of the season. Shynkaruk has 40 points in 41 games this season, and leads the team with 8 game winners.
This Date in Blades History… February 15, 2014…the Blades rallied from allowing the opening goal in Red Deer by scoring the last four in a 4-1 triumph over the Rebels. Troy Trombley stopped 40 shots in goal while Ryan Graham scored twice, including the game winner late in the first period. Both of Graham’s goals were assisted by Nikita Scherbak. The victory was the 16th, and final one of the 2013-14 campaign for Saskatoon as they would lose their final 12 games in the first season after hosting the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup.
On call… The injuries continue to pile up for the Blades, prompting another call up. ’00 F Tyler Lees will jump into the lineup tonight for Saskatoon and join the Blades on the road this weekend. Lees currently sits 10th in league scoring in the SMAAAHL with 42 points in 41 games this season. Tonight will mark Lees’ 4th career game in the WHL.
97 F Cam Hebig – upper body – indefinitely
97 F Braylon Shmyr – upper body – day-to-day
00 F Chase Wouters – upper body – week-to-week
98 F Caleb Fantillo – upper body – day-to-day
99 F Lukus MacKenzie – upper body – week-to-week
99 D Jake Kustra – upper body – week-to-week
Download & view the full game notes: Game Notes vs EVT Feb 15:17