Wendel Clark’s Classic Grill Game Day Recap
REGINA, SK — A quality performance from goaltender Koen MacInnes wasn’t enough as the Saskatoon Blades were edged by the Brandon Wheat Kings 3-1 on Easter Sunday at the Brandt Centre.
MacInnes stopped 29 of 31 shots, including a combined 21 in the second and third periods, to earn the game’s second star. Despite his strong performance, his record falls to 2-1-1-0.
But what the Blades gained in good goaltending, they lacked in quality scoring chances.
Caiden Daley netted the lone Saskatoon tally, coming near the midway mark of the first period, before Brandon answered with three unanswered goals.
Linden McCallum tied the game midway through the second period with his 10th of the year before Ben McCartney scored the eventual game-winner 3:20 into the third. Reid Perepeluk, who received a 10-minute misconduct in the previous game against the Blades, scored an empty-netter.
It’s the Blades second straight loss, albeit a much better effort than their previous setback to Moose Jaw according to head coach Mitch Love. Saskatoon falls into a tie with Brandon for top spot in the East Division, both with records of 9-2-1-0.
Brandon’s winning streak is now at six games, having not lost a game since March 22nd against the Blades.
Saskatoon opened the scoring 8:20 into the opening frame off their second powerplay opportunity. Kyle Crnkovic fed a slap-pass towards the front of the net where Caiden Daley was parked, chipping the puck over the left pad of Ethan Kruger.
The Blades held the Wheaties to eight shots on goal in the first period as compared to 12 on Kruger.
For a moment it appeared Brandon tied the game near the midway mark of the frame when Lynden McCallum shoveled the puck into an open net. MacInnes was torn from position after Jake Chiasson went sliding into the crease. The Wheaties winger sat stationary in the blue-paint for a few too many seconds, blocking MacInnes’s ability to get back into position and stop McCallum’s shot. Although the ruling on the ice was a good goal, it was soon waved off on goaltender interference.
Saskatoon ran into penalty trouble in the final seconds of the second period and into the third period with Brandon Lisowsky, Colton Dach, Wyatt McLeod and Alex Morozoff each serving minor infractions. Although the Wheat Kings were held off the scoresheet on five powerplays, killing penalties took the Blades away from attacking offensively.
Saskatoon, meanwhile, went 1-for-4 on the powerplay.
Blades captain Chase Wouters was unavailable for a third straight game. The career-Blade was forced to sit out the final match as part of a three-game suspension stemming from last Monday’s win against Prince Albert. He’s expected to return to the lineup on Tuesday, and provide a much-needed boost against the Winnipeg ICE.
For the complete box score, CLICK HERE.