SPOKANE, Wa. – Occasionally, not scoring on a two-man advantage doesn’t hurt a team. But, that wasn’t the case for the Saskatoon Blades Wednesday.
After failing to score on a two-man power play in Tuesday’s 5-2 victory at Tri-Cities, the Bridge City Bunch were presented with 1:17 worth of 5-on-3 power play chance, with the score tied 2-2 in the second period, when rookie Slovak forward Milos Fafrak went off for charging, followed by a “puck over glass” delay of game to Chiefs’ defenceman Dalton Hamaliuk.
However, none of the Blades’ four shots on goal…either on the 5-on-3 or succeeding 5-on-4…hit the back of the net behind Spokane rookie goaltender Donovan Buskey. Six seconds after Hamaliuk’s penalty ended, his intended pass on a 3-on-1 rush was broken up…only to land on the stick of Jaret Anderson-Dolan, with a wide open net. The goal put the Chiefs up 3-2 and they never looked back on the way to a 6-2 triumph.
“Yeah you could call (that) the turning point,” admitted Saskatoon assistant coach Bryce Thoma. “It’s unfortunate on the 5-on-3 that we couldn’t get a goal. We had a couple of good looks but…”
The turn of events against the Bridge City Bunch means eight straight, head-to-head, losses to Spokane. The last Blades win over the Chiefs came January 5, 2010 at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena…a 5-4 decision. That leaves Saskatoon 1-1-0 on their five-game U.S. Division road trip…10-13-3 overall on the season.
The Blue and Gold opened the scoring when Kirby Dach snapped a 14-game goal-less streak when his sharp-angle shot hit a post, ricocheted in front, bounced off a Chiefs defender and in.
Ethan McIndoe scored back-to-back goals to give Spokane a 2-1 lead after the first period. Dach tied the score early in the second, but that was the last time the Blades really threatened.
Hudson Elynuik and Zach Fischer notched power play goals while defenceman-turned-forward Jeff Faith completed the scoring as the Chiefs out-shot Saskatoon 17-2 after the missed 5-on-3 opportunity…37-24 overall.
The Bridge City Bunch are idle until Saturday when they hit the mid-point of the “American Adventure”, visiting the Everett Silvertips. Following is the official game summary from the WHL...
Saskatoon Blades 2 at Spokane Chiefs 6 - Status: Final Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena - Spokane, WA