Warman, SK – An explosive three-goal opening period for the Saskatoon Blades was enough to stave off a determined Prince Albert Raider squad at The Legends Centre in Warman last night. The Blades held on for a tight 4-3 win over their northern rivals, with 15-year-old G Ethan Chadwick starring in his first ever appearance of any sort for the Blue & Gold.
Despite the Blades’ fast start, the 2019 Western Hockey League Bantam Selection and local Saskatoon product Chadwick was kept busy all night long as the Raiders peppered him with 42 shots. Chadwick turned away 39 of those to finish his first start as a Blade with a .929 save percentage, including several key saves late in the game as Prince Albert pressed to tie the game in the final minutes with a six-on-four opportunity.
15-year-old F Hayden Smith opened the scoring for the Blades in the first period, nabbing his second goal of the pre-season. Like Chadwick, Smith was a selection at the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft and hasn’t looked out of place during his first WHL Pre-Season.
Saskatoon’s top line for the evening, made up of Sophomore F Kyle Crnkovic, 20-year-old F Ryan Hughes and 15-year-old F Brandon Lisowsky, rounded out the opening 20-minutes with two goals coming off the sticks of Hughes and Crnkovic. Lisowsky, the Blades’ first round selection at the 2019 Bantam Draft, earned the primary assist on both of those goals.
Lisowsky then lent a hand again in the second period, as he set up Crnkovic’s second goal of the evening – one which would eventually become the game-winner for the Blades. The goal was Crnkovic’s third of the pre-season.
2018 WHL Bantam selection D Marek Schneider took to the ice for his first time in the 2019 Pre-Season. The younger brother of the Brandon Wheat Kings’ Braden Schneider, Marek finished his first outing of 2019 with a shot on net.
Next up, the Blades will finish their 2019 Pre-Season campaign with back-to-back matchups at home against the Winnipeg ICE on Friday, September 13th, and Saturday, September 14th.
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