Coming off a less-than-impressive effort in a 7-3 loss in Regina Wednesday, the Saskatoon Blades started strong Friday…scoring three times in the first 10 minutes…on the way to a 5-0 victory over the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings.
Josh Paterson, Max Gerlach on a power play and defenceman Jackson Caller chased Oil Kings’ starting goaltender Josh Dechaine at the mid-first period timeout. At the other end, Nolan Maier wasn’t overly busy, but ended up making 20 saves for his second shutout.
“The message was pretty loud and clear (Thursday),” said head coach Dean Brockman. “We wanted to talk about what we were going to do to prepare ourselves to make this run. We had 23 (games left in the season) before (Friday night) started. And, I thought our guys did a lot of the things that we talked about.”
Michael Farren and Braylon Shmyr added goals for the Blue and Gold in the second and third periods, respectively while Kirby Dach (pictured) showed off his passing wizardry, setting up Gerlach and Farren for their power play tallies in front of 3,309 fans at SaskTel Centre.
The two points were necessary for the Blue and Gold as the Prince Albert Raiders kept pace in the race to catch a playoff spot in the WHL’s Eastern Conference, trimming the visiting Prince George Cougars 6-2. The Blades (25-24-3) are four points ahead of P.A. (19-20-9) for the eighth and final post-season berth.
On Saturday, Saskatoon is home to P.G. while the Raiders host Edmonton. Meanwhile, the Memorial Cup-host Regina Pats, who were off Friday and visit Swift Current Saturday afternoon to open a home-and-home series, are just four points ahead of the Bridge City Bunch. Game time Saturday for the Blades and Prince George is 7:05 with the broadcast on 92-9, THE BULL at 6:30. Following is the official summary from the WHL...
Edmonton Oil Kings 0 at Saskatoon Blades 5 - Status: Final Friday, January 26, 2018 - SaskTel Centre - Saskatoon, SK