Saskatoon, SK – The Saskatoon Blades found their offensive spark on Tuesday night and defeated the Calgary Hitmen 5-4 in overtime. The Blades are now 16-22-5-1 on the season, and trail Edmonton by just 2 points for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Although Calgary didn’t come away with a win, the single point keeps them just 4 points behind Saskatoon.
Calgary opened the scoring 4:35 into the game thanks to recently acquired forward Jake Kryski who was able to beat Logan Flodell for his 14th of the season. The Blades responded just over two minutes later when Michael Farren found Jesse Shynkaruk streaking in on the left wing, setting up the veteran for his 14th of the year. Later in the period Farren was at it again, this time setting up another Saskatoon product, Gage Ramsay. Farren received the puck from fellow 16 year old rookie Chase Wouters, and made a dandy no look feed to Ramsay for a one-timer from the slot to put the Blades ahead 2-1. However, the Hitmen stunned the home crowd at SaskTel Centre scoring twice in the following minute to go up 3-2 heading into the first intermission.
Saskatoon was awarded their first power play of the game early in the second period, and leading scorer Braylon Shmyr decided to get in on the action with his 22nd marker to tie the game 3-3. Calgary upped their physical play, but Saskatoon matched that as well thanks to some booming hits from the likes of Lukus MacKenzie, Mark Rubinchik, and Evan Fiala. At the midway point of the hockey game, Braylon Shmyr fed line mate Jesse Shynkaruk off the rush for his 2nd of the game to regain the lead for Saskatoon. But Calgary answered as Matteo Gennaro evened the game at 4-4 with his 2nd of the night.
Both teams tightened up in the final 20 minutes with Calgary having the only power play chance which wasn’t successful. The game needed overtime still knotted after 60 minutes of play with the visitors leading 23-21 on the shot clock.
Early into the extra frame, Chase Wouters was hauled down by Jake Kryski giving the Blades their 2nd power play of the night. With the crowd on the edge of their seats, the Blades continued to try and find a seam to get something past Kyle Dumba. Eventually a point shot from Bryton Sayers went off the back boards and Jesse Shynkaruk was there to bang in his 3rd goal of the night, and the game winner.
Shynkaruk’s first career hat-trick earned him first star honours, while three other Blades enjoyed a multi-point game. Rookies Chase Wouters and Michael Farren each had 2 assists, which earned Farren 3rd star of the game. Team leading scorer Braylon Shmyr also had a goal and a helper bringing his season total to 36 points in 44 games. Logan Flodell stopped 19/23 shots but most importantly picked up his 11th win of the season. Saskatoon’s power play went 2/2 on the night.
The Blades home stand continues this Saturday when the Red Deer Rebels come to town. Game time is 7:00pm at SaskTel Centre. Tickets are available at the SaskTel Centre box offices, the Blades office by calling 306-975-8844, or purchase online and find more information here.