The Saskatoon Blades snapped scoreless and 1-1 ties in the second period, then held on for a 5-3 triumph over the Kootenay ICE before 2,861 fans at SaskTel Centre Tuesday night.
“We’ll take 57 (minutes of urgency and effort) over none. So, we’ll take that,” said Blades head coach Dean Brockman of the Blue and Gold’s 26th win of the season that snapped a modest, yet troubling, two-game losing skid. “We didn’t finish it off, but I thought our guys had a much stronger effort. We did a lot of things better. I won’t say we did them great, but we did them better. We made some adjustments on the fly and the guys responded to it.”
Michael Farren (pictured) opened the scoring with a second period power play goal…then tallied again to give the Blades a 2-1 lead after Colton Kroeker tied the score for the ICE. Saskatoon assumed a 3-1 lead before the second period was over when Bradly Goethals potted a rebound while the Bridge City Bunch was short-handed. Early in the third period, the Blue and Gold went up 4-1 when Max Gerlach scored off a breakaway.
Chase Wouters potted an insurance marker into an empty Kootenay net with goaltender Matt Berlin on the bench for an extra attacker after Colton Veloso and Payton Krebs tallied 52 seconds apart to make the score 4-3 with 1:54 remaining.
Otherwise, the Blades did what they needed to do, improving their record to 26-25-3 for 55 points, two ahead of Prince Albert with the 21-20-11 Raidersset to host 23-27-3 Kootenay on Wednesday evening. Nolan Maier won his 17th game in goal for Saskatoon as they out-shot the ICE 34-24.
The Bridge City Bunch open a three games-in-three nights weekend on Friday in Brandon. Following is the official game summary from the WHL...
Kootenay ICE 3 at Saskatoon Blades 5 - Status: Final Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - SaskTel Centre - Saskatoon, SK
Kootenay 0 1 2 - 3 Saskatoon 0 3 2 - 5
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Ginnell Ktn (kneeing), 3:23; Fiala Sas (interference), 19:25.
2nd Period-1, Saskatoon, Farren 5 (Gerlach, Davidson), 2:47 (PP). 2, Kootenay, Kroeker 11 (Veloso, Krebs), 5:37. 3, Saskatoon, Farren 6 (Rubinchik, Fiala), 7:33. 4, Saskatoon, Goethals 10 (Dach, Caller), 14:13 (SH). Penalties-Krebs Ktn (hooking), 2:09; served by Shmyr Sas (too many men), 8:56; Farren Sas (hooking), 13:23.