RECAP | Blades drop Game 1 in series to Pats
Saskatoon, SK – Still plenty of series left.
The Saskatoon Blades dropped Game 1 of their first-round series 6-1 at SaskTel Centre vs the Regina Pats. Blades forward Lukas Hansen scored his first career WHL playoff goal, while rookie goalie Austin Elliott had a night to forget allowing five goals on 24 shots.
Far from out of the series, it’s not the start Saskatoon hoped for with home-ice advantage. Their provincial rivals take a 1-0 series lead with focus shifting to Sunday for Game 2.
Nerves didn’t impede the Blades coming out the gate as they outshot the Pats 10-8 in the first period. No score came before the team’s headed to intermission.
Saskatoon came back from the tunnel with lots of powerplay time on the clock but it was the visitors that struck first.
2005-born forward Zackary Shantz got in alone one-on-one with rookie goalie Austin Elliott and scored his first career playoff goal in his first ever playoff game. The Zucker Creek, AB product put the Pats out in front 1-0 despite Saskatoon controlling play up to that point.
It was the the consensus first-overall pick for the NHL Entry Draft in June, Connor Bedard, that sucked the wind out of the ruckus crowd’s sails. The WHL superstar performed a dazzling move in the Blades end before storing his first career playoff marker top corner. The goal came with just under seven-minutes remaining in the second and sent the Pats into the final 20 up 2-0.
The third period couldn’t have started worse for the Blue and Gold after a Riley Ginnell dump-and-chase took an odd path into the Blades net, putting Regina in front 3-0 nine-seconds in. The pending WHL graduate’s first of the postseason is the second in his playoff career, rocking three points in seven games.
The Blades didn’t sit back and let their provincial rivals runaway with Game 1. Winnipeg, MB. native Lukas Hansen blew the roof off of SaskTel Centre with his first career playoff goal. Hansen suited up in 67 regular season contests potting eight goals and 16 points, and brought his team back to life after trailing 3-0. The 18-year-old center’s tally came just 22-seconds after the Pats third goal, leaving lots of time left to mount a comeback.
Hansen picks the corner for his first playoff goal!!
| #SASvsREG | #WHLPlayoffs | #FeedTheFuture | pic.twitter.com/VTXsSdRUW0
— Saskatoon Blades (@BladesHockey) April 1, 2023
That comeback was cut short.
The Pats quieted the crowd again just under halfway through the final frame. Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Stanislav Svozil earned his second point of the night to make it 4-1 Regina.
Under four-minutes later, Bedard gave every highlight reel something that will go on repeat. The North Vancouver, BC. prodigy slipped through the Blades defence all by himself for his second goal of the night. The game got out of reach for the Blades after that.
Saskatoon still put up a valiant effort to try and bring more positives into next game, but Tye Spencer buried an empty-net goal to complete the 6-1 final.
Game 2 is Sunday, Apr. 2nd on home-ice once again for a 4:00pm puck drop.
Doors open at 2:30.
Tickets are selling FAST! Make sure you nab some before it’s too late!