GAME 65 RECAP | Blades open weekend double-header with victory over Wheat Kings

Saskatoon, SK – A weekend double-header starts off on a good note.

Justin Lies’ goal drought came to an end as the Saskatoon Blades defeated the Brandon Wheat Kings 3-2 Saturday at SaskTel Centre.

Lies last goal was Dec. 16th vs the Spokane Chiefs and what a way to get back on track with the game-winning goal. The Flin Flon, MB. native’s effort earned him first star of the evening.

Blades’ goalie Ethan Chadwick was unbeatable after allowing two late goals in the first stopping 23 shots, 20 of which came in the final 40-minutes. The 19-year-old netminder’s record improves to 22-9-1-1 with a .900 save-percentage.

Saskatoon played spoiler to the Wheat Kings who desperately are trying to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Wheat Kings came into tonight just two points back of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 60 points. They now trail the Calgary Hitmen by four points with only two games in-hand, while the southern Alberta town still have four.

Everyone wants to make a good first impression and the Blades executed that perfectly. Newly signed Edmonton Oiler Jake Chiasson flung a pass ahead to Dallas Stars prospect Conner Roulette who put it “Wright” on the tape for his defenceman Charlie. The Olds, AB. product made no mistake on the 2-0n-1 for goal eight on the season, putting Saskatoon up 1-0 just under halfway through the first period. Wright’s earning respect on his name with a career-high 39 points in 63 games.

Just over three-minutes later Chiasson dished another dime this time onto the tape of Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Josh Pillar. The Warman, SK. product scored his seventh of the season in the middle of the slot on the powerplay. Pillar is beginning to heat up with three goals and four points in his last five games which is scary for other teams in the league. The 6-foot playmaker has 16 points in 24 games this year, and extended Saskatoon’s lead to 2-0.

That first impression didn’t last as the Wheat Kings stormed back before period’s end to make is 2-2. First came a Nolan Flamand goal with 3:12 left in the frame for the forward’s 12th goal and 30th point of the season. Less than two-minutes later center Caleb Hadland notched his third goal of the campaign for the equalizer.

Fired up after blowing their lead the Blades came out fiesty in the second period, and it looked as if a stalement would last for the 20-minutes. Flin Flon Bomber alum Justin Lies had other plans. The 19-year-old winger ended a 26-game goalless drought with his eighth of the season with a massive tally to put his team in front 3-2. It’s a perfect time to get the monkey off the bruiser’s back who skates well and plays physical, and can be another weapon for the Blades come postseason time. In 53 games, the 6-foot-2 winger has 21 points.

Fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive Brandon threw everything they had at the Blue and Gold in the third period. The visitors outshot Saskatoon 11-4 in the final stretch, and held the offensive zone for nearly 1:30 after netminder Nicholas Jones went to the bench for an extra attacker.

Everyone in the Bridge City dressing room is bought-in, putting their bodies on the line with countless shot blocks to preserve the 3-2 victory. Saskatoon is now 46-14-4-1 with 97 points, three shy of their fifth 100-point season in franchise history.

What’s Next?

The boys will play in front of the biggest crowd in Saskatoon Blades history tomorrow afternoon when they welcome Connor Bedard and the Regina Pats.

More than 15,000 spectators are expected for the potential first-round matchup guaranteeing a wild atmosphere Blade City has never seen.

To make sure everyone’s experience is as enjoyable as possible, we wrote an article about things fans NEED TO KNOW before coming to tomorrow’s game. If you’re taking in the action, READ THIS and come early!



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