Saskatoon Blades players followed the coaches game plan Saturday in Red Deer...as opposed to following their own...resulting in a 4-1 triumph over the Rebels.
“It was a simple matter that our players listened very closely when we did our pre-game prep,” explained veteran, assistant coach Jerome Engele as to why the Saskatoon Blades killed off all five Rebels power play chances Saturday night. “It was reiterated that they didn’t listen (Friday in Medicine Hat when they allowed five power play goals on seven chances as the Tigers won 5-2), obviously. And, they listened (Saturday), so they did what the coaches asked them to do.
“When you follow the game plan, it works!”
By following the Saturday game plan of head coach Dean Brockman and his assistants…Engele, Bryce Thoma and Ryan Keller…the Bridge City Bunch upended the home-standing Rebels 4-1. The Blue and Gold opened the scoring, then held Red Deer without a power play chance until just before the mid-point of the second period. In the third, after the Rebels tied the game at 1-1, the Blades killed off back-to-back Red Deer man advantages before Cam Hebig scored the winning goal with 8:10 remaining.
It was the first time in their eight regular-season games that 3-5-0 Saskatoon allowed fewer than four goals in a game.
Braylon Shmyr opened the scoring on a power play while Chase Wouters and Libor Hajek added insurance markers. The Bridge City Bunch out-shot the Rebels 38-28…just the second time they had the advantage on the shot clock this season. Hebig, Shmyr and Hajek each had an assist to go along with their tallies while Brad Goethals chipped in with a pair of helpers.
After opening the season with just one win in four home games, the Blue and Gold were 2-2-0 in their next four games all on the road. Their next outing is back at SaskTel Centre against the Vancouver Giants.
“The (players) have got to learn to condition themselves, to prepare themselves to come to the rink in a different manner,” responded Engele when asked how they bring their effective road play to home games. “When we hit that rink, we’re there to work.”
Following is the official game summary from the WHL...
Saskatoon Blades 4 at Red Deer Rebels 1 - Status: Final Saturday, October 14, 2017 - Enmax Centrium - Red Deer, AB