As Cameron Hebig goes, so go the Saskatoon Blades…until Thursday night!
On the day that the 20-year-old centre signed an entry level contract with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, Hebig was held pointless for just the 11th time in 35 games this season.
However, the forward line of Josh Paterson, Chase Wouters and Braylon Shmyr picked the Saskatoon product up, combining for 12 points as the Bridge City Bunch rallied for a 6-4 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. In that order, they were the three stars of the contest. Paterson collected his first WHL hat-trick in two-and-a-half seasons and added an assist for his first career four-point game for the 18-year-old right winger. Seventeen-year-old Wouters chipped in with a goal and three helpers for the first four-point game of his WHL career. As for 20-year-old Shmyr, scoring twice…including the winning goal…and adding two assists for a four-point game is nothing new. It was the left winger’s fourth four-point outing of this season!
“I’m a little bit speechless,” started Blades head coach Dean Brockman when asked about the effort from the line. But, he recovered to say, “That’s the best game Braylon has played in a Blades’ uniform. Josh Paterson looks like he got a lot of things for Christmas because he seems to be really happy. He was really good (Wednesday night, scoring a goal in Saskatoon’s 4-2 home victory over P.A.) and he was even better (Thursday).The play on the eventual game-winner…that’s just a pro play. And, Chase Wouters just gives you everything he has got every game. They were just on fire.”
Following Wednesday’s 4-2 loss at SaskTel Centre, Raiders’ head coach Marc Habscheid said Thursday his team would be better, and had to be, after a less than acceptable effort. They were better in the first period, out-shooting the Bridge City Bunch 21-12 and leading 3-1. However, the Paterson-Wouters-Shmyr line drove the comeback wagon for the Blue and Gold as they won their third straight contest and sixth in the last seven games. The Blades are at .500 (17-17-3) for the first time all season and have pulled four points ahead of Prince Albert in the chase for an Eastern Conference playoff spot, thanks to the home-and-home sweep coming out of the Christmas break.
Parker Kelly, Eric Pearce, Carson Miller and Brett Leason tallied for the Raiders, losers of three straight and sitting at 13-16-7 overall.
Next up for Saskatoon is a home-and-home series against Swift Current. The Bridge City Bunch visits Speedy Creek Saturday, then hosts the Broncos on New Year's Day...a 2:05 p.m. first faceoff at SaskTel Centre. Following is the official game summary from the WHL...
Saskatoon Blades 6 at Prince Albert Raiders 4 - Status: Final Thursday, December 28, 2017 - Art Hauser Centre - Prince Albert, SK
Saskatoon 1 2 3 - 6 Prince Albert 3 0 1 - 4
1st Period-1, Prince Albert, Kelly 15 (Fonstad, Stallard), 6:33 (PP). 2, Saskatoon, Paterson 14 (Shmyr, Wouters), 9:56 (PP). 3, Prince Albert, Pearce 3 (Moe), 16:27. 4, Prince Albert, Miller 1 18:46. Penalties-Fiala Sas (boarding, roughing), 5:30; Leason Pa (roughing), 5:30; Nachbaur Pa (major-cross checking, game misconduct), 8:39; Goethals Sas (roughing), 11:04; Crossley Pa (roughing), 11:04; Maier Sas (delay of game), 14:00.
Shots on Goal-Saskatoon 12-12-15-39. Prince Albert 21-10-11-42. Power Play Opportunities-Saskatoon 1 / 1; Prince Albert 1 / 3. Goalies-Saskatoon, Maier 9-6-0-1 (42 shots-38 saves). Prince Albert, Scott 9-11-0-2 (38 shots-33 saves). A-2,312 Referees-Jason Bourdon (20), Adam Byblow (23). Linesmen-Jordan Carriere (108), Tanner McGregor (55).