The Saskatoon Blades won their 5th straight game on Wednesday night, opening up a 3-game road trip with a 6-3 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. The win improves the Blades overall record to 35-13-8-0 on the season, already equalling their total number of wins from last season. It also extends their unbeaten streak to 11 games at 9-0-2-0. Saskatoon now holds a 10 point lead over the Moose Jaw Warriors in the East Division, and pull into a tie for 2nd in the overall standings with the Western Conference leading Everett Silvertips.
Medicine Hat opened the scoring 2:44 into the game on their first power play chance through captain James Hamblin (31). Saskatoon tied the game through Max Gerlach (34) on the power play to make it 1-1 after 20 minutes. Eric Florchuk and Dawson Davidson had the helpers.
The Blades power play went back to work in the second period as Ryan Hughes (21) buried a rebound after a point shot from Nolan Kneen, giving Saskatoon their first lead of the game. Minutes later, Max Gerlach (35) duplicated his first period goal beating Mads Sogaard short-side high over the glove once again. Gary Haden and Chase Wouters assisted on Gerlach’s 35th of the season, which matches his career high from last year.
Medicine Hat did respond thanks to rookie Nick McCarry (2), who cut the Blades’ lead to 3-2. However, it was short-lived as Eric Florchuk (18) finished off a pretty passing play in the final minute of the frame; Ryan Hughes and Dawson Davidson assisted.
The Blades were at it again early in the 3rd period as Kyle Crnkovic set up Tristen Robins (8) in the slot 1:52 in. Then when it appeared the Tigers had a chance to get back into the game due to a 4-minute power play, Blades captain Chase Wouters (13) scored a short-handed marker to chase Mads Sogaard from the Medicine Hat goal. Sogaard allowed 2 goals on the first two shots he faced in the 3rd period, and left the game with 22 saves on 28 shots.
The Tigers would add a late power play goal but the game was already out of reach at that point, as the Blades still held a 6-3 lead which would end up the final score.
Nolan Maier pitched another 25 save performance for his 29th win of the season; the 3rd most in the Western Hockey League.
For a second straight game Saskatoon’s power play struck twice going 2/4 against the Tigers, while the penalty killers were 4/6.
Max Gerlach: 2 goals, 4 SOG, +1, 1st star
Dawson Davidson: 3 assists, +3, 1 SOG, 2 PIM, 2nd star
Chase Wouters: 1 short-handed goal, 2 assists, +2
Dawson Davidson had 3 assists (1 power play, 1 short-handed, and 1 a seven strength), recorded multiple points for a fourth straight game, and extended his point streak to 14 games (2G-22A).
Max Gerlach had 2 goals running his point streak to 12 games (11G-10A), tying his career high in goals with 35 from last season.
Tristen Robins scored his 8th of the season giving him goals in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.
Eric Florchuk assisted on the opening goal and scored the game winner. Nolan Maier made several highlight reel saves and only allowed one even strength goal to help his team earn two points.
The Blades continue their road swing on Friday night against the Kootenay ICE; the final game to be played at Western Financial Place in Cranbrook, B.C., before the team moves to Winnipeg next season.