After a listless-looking return home Saturday in a 4-1 setback to Kamloops, the Saskatoon Blades started a Sunday game less than 17 hours after coming off the ice against the Blazers…and captured a “must win” by a 3-2 count over the visiting Prince Albert Raiders.
The victory allowed the Blades, now 12-16-3 for the season, to pull within four points of 12-12-7 P.A. for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
It was the 12th consecutive victory for Saskatoon over the Raiders at SaskTel Centre with 16-year-old goaltender Nolan Maier the hero, stopping 34 drives as Prince Albert out-shot the Blue and Gold 36-25…including three shots during a 1:28 chance for the Raiders with a two-man advantage and trailing 3-2.
Cam Hebig touched off the Blades’ “Teddy Bear Toss” re-directing Braylon Shmyr’s doorstep feed past P.A. netminder Ian Scott at 4:58 of the first period.
“It’s pretty cool,” explained Hebig when asked on the ice after scoring the goal what it was like to bring on the avalanche of stuffed animals from a crowd of 4,023 at SaskTel Centre. “Definitely nice to see and nice to get that one out of the way.”
That was the only goal of the first period. Jordy Stallard answered in the second period with a power play goal, only to have Bradly Goethals give Saskatoon the lead again by slipping his own rebound past Scott. Curtis Miske knotted the score again before the end of the second period…setting the stage for Alec Zawatsky’s game-winner in the third period.
The Bridge City Bunch get Monday off before hosting Lethbridge Tuesday. Following is the official game summary from the WHL...
Prince Albert Raiders 2 at Saskatoon Blades 3 - Status: Final Sunday, December 10, 2017 - SaskTel Centre - Saskatoon, SK