The Blades have emerged victorious after their first encounter of any kind with the ICE since their move from Kootenay to Winnipeg. Saskatoon took the Pre-Season meeting 4-3 on Friday night at Sasktel Centre.
The first period saw the Blades get out in front early courtesy of a power-play goal. Colton Dach scored his third goal of the Pre-Season as Kyle Crnkovic’s cross-crease pass made things easy for Dach, deflecting the puck into a wide-open net to start the scoring. Just over a minute later the Blades made quick work of their second man advantage as Scott Walford got the puck off the face-off and walked the blueline before firing home his first goal of the pre-season to double Saskatoon’s lead to two. The Bridge City Bunch then made their lead three as Dach put home his second of the game on a shot from right in front of the net.
The ICE responded in the second period. Just over two minutes into the frame Cole Muir was able to beat Nolan Maier off a rebound and pull the Winnipeg within two. Five minutes later the ICE added another one, this time on a power-play of their own as former Blade Reece Harsch beat Maier through a screen from the point, making it a one goal game. Saskatoon got one back before the end of the period as Crnkovic found Blades’ 2019 1st Round pick Brandon Lisowsky for his first goal of the Pre-Season. Lisowsky’s goal would eventually prove to be the game-winning-goal.
Saskatoon jumped out of the gates for the third period, outshooting the ICE 8-1 in the first ten minutes. The Blades tightened their defensive play further as the ICE only had the one shot on net for the period up until the 14-minute-mark. With the period looking as if it were going to end scoreless, the ICE pulled their netminder and capitalized – bringing them within one goal with a minute left in regulation. Their rally came too late however, as the Blades held on for their third victory of the 2019 Pre-Season Campaign.
Maier was his dependable self in net, blocking 31 of 34 shots he faced for a .912 save percentage.
Kyle Crnkovic’s two point (2A) night brings his 2019 Pre-Season Point total up to 7 (3G-4A). Colton Dach’s 2 goal evening brings his point tally for the Pre-Season to 5 (4G-1A), while Scott Walford earned his first two points (1G-1A) of any kind while wearing the Blue & Gold.
The ICE & Blades will do battle again immediately on Saturday, September 14th, at SaskTel Centre with puck drop at 7:00pm.
With the Winnipeg Ice joining the East Division of the WHL, they will square off against the Blades six times across the 2019-20 Regular Season.
Come see Paul “BizNasty” Bissonnette, Kelly Taylor and Wendel Clark host a VIP panel while tailgating for the 2019-20 Home Opener against the Prince Albert Raiders – click here to buy tickets