Regina, SK – The Saskatoon Blades learned a hard lesson on Saturday night falling 7-3 to the Regina Pats. Regina scored four of their seven goals on the man advantage which could have been even worse considering they were given 10 opportunities. Saskatoon slips to 1-4 on the season and will have to find a way to shut down the Pats as they return to Regina for their next game on Wednesday.
Finnish import Emil Oksanen drove the bus for the Regina in the opening period scoring twice and adding two helpers to give Regina a 4-0 lead after the first. Three of those four goals came on the man advantage, while the Blades were unsuccessful on their two power plays.
Saskatoon started the second period with a tad more gusto, and an early tally from Braylon Shmyr certainly helped the energy. Shmyr’s 3rd of the season came off the stick of fellow 20-year-old Cam Hebig. Regina was quick to respond and less than four minutes later Matt Bradley restored the four goal cushion for the home side. After killing off another pair of minor penalties, the Blades had their chance on the power play and finally cashed in for the first time this season. Again, it was Braylon Shmyr with his second of the night. Brad Goethals and Cam Hebig picked up the assists.
Still trailing by three to start the 3rd period, Saskatoon would strike again. This time it was Cam Hebig doing the finishing after Braylon Shmyr set him up off the rush. Hebig’s second of the season came short-handed and got the Blades within two.
But that would be all the Blades could muster up as Matt Bradley struck again. Jeff de Wit also added a late power play marker to the Pats a 7-3 final.
16-year-old Nolan Maier made his WHL debut, and although the stats don’t look pretty the youngster played well. An early assault didn’t give him much chance having to kill four penalties in the opening period in front of a sold out Regina crowd. But Maier settled in and made several key saves to keep the wheels from falling off. He had a busy night, but still stopped 34 shots on 41 faced.
Cam Hebig and Braylon Shmyr each had three point games; Brad Goethals was the only other Blades to register a point.
Rookie Kirby Dach was on the receiving end of a hit from behind in which he sprung right up and finished the first period. However, he was not on the Blades’ bench or the ice for the remainder of the game.
Next up for the Blades is a trip right back to Regina to meet with the Pats on Wednesday evening.