In a 180-degree turn-around from the night previous, the Saskatoon Blades shocked the home-standing Portland Winterhawks 4-0 Sunday night.
Considering head coach Dean Brockman said, "we stunk," in describing Saturday’s 3-0 setback in Everett, beating the Western Conference’s top team less than 24 hours later was jaw-dropping. Nolan Maier stopped 48 shots for his first W-H-L shutout.
"It felt amazing," said the 16-year-old. "Especially playing one of the top teams in the league (Portland dropped to 20-5-1 with the loss). Getting a lot of shots and knowing I can face them all and be able to stop them feels great."
In just his ninth career W-H-L start, Maier made several five-star stops, but none bigger than late in the second period on Brad Ginnell with the Blue and Gold only up 2-0.
"I saw Cody Glass coming down on the left side and I knew he was going to pass it, because our D-man was cheating over and letting me have the back guy," explained the Yorkton product. "And then I just dove back and got lucky enough that it hit my blocker and it went out of play."
Josh Paterson snapped a scoreless tie with a second period power play goal. Braylon Shmyr made it 2-0 in the middle frame and Cam Hebig added further insurance with a pair of third period tallies. Shmyr assisted on the other three goals while Hebig had a helper and Paterson had two apples, giving the line 10 points.
The Blades moved within two points of Prince Albert for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Saskatoon finishes their five-game swing Tuesday night in Kent, Washington against the defending W-H-L-champion Seattle Thunderbirds. Following is the official game summary from the W-H-L...
Saskatoon Blades 4 at Portland Winterhawks 0 - Status: Final Sunday, December 3, 2017 - Moda Center - Portland, OR
Saskatoon 0 2 2 - 4 Portland 0 0 0 - 0
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Lees Sas (slashing), 7:25; Fiala Sas (high sticking), 17:17; Goethals Sas (hooking), 19:14.
2nd Period-1, Saskatoon, Paterson 9 (Shmyr, Dach), 6:02 (PP). 2, Saskatoon, Shmyr 14 (Paterson, Hebig), 14:13. Penalties-Ludvig Por (holding opp. stick), 5:19; Rubinchik Sas (major-fighting), 6:40; Wouters Sas (major-fighting, game misconduct), 6:40; Bellows Por (major-fighting, game misconduct), 6:40; McKenzie Por (instigator, major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 6:40.