It may be a cliché to some, but winning the special teams component of a hockey game wins the contest more often than not.
That’s how the Saskatoon Blades improved to 2-0 to start the 2018 W-H-L pre-season as the Bridge City Bunch doubled the Moose Jaw Warriors 4-2 Friday afternoon to open the Regina Pats’ pre-season tournament. The Blue and Gold were called for the first five penalties of the game…but killed them all off. When they finally got their chances with the man advantage, the Blades scored on two of their first three chances. In total, Saskatoon went 3-for-6 on the power play while Moose Jaw was 1-for-7.
“It was good to see our special teams step up and do so some real good things and our power play really stepped it up (Friday),” said new Blades associate coach Ryan Marsh.
Despite killing off the first five Warriors’ man advantages, the Bridge City Bunch trailed 1-0 going into the final five minutes of the second period. But, Chase Wouters, Seth Bafaro and Max Gerlach connected in a 3:53 span to give the Blue and Gold a 3-1 lead through 40 minutes. Zach Ashton firmed up the result with a power play tally in the third period.
“Whenever a new coaching staff comes in, they implement some new things and then you see the results come up on the board, you definitely want to keep going in that direction,” explained Gerlach, who tallied the only even-strength goal for Saskatoon. “I think all these guys want to go in the same direction as the coaching staff is taking us.”
Dorin Luding stopped 24 of 26 shots in the Blades net. The Bridge City Bunch out-shot Moose Jaw, who were making their pre-season debut Friday, by a slim 27-26 margin. The Blue and Gold go back to Regina Saturday to take on the Swift Current Broncos. Following is the official game summary from the W-H-L…
Saskatoon Blades 4 at Moose Jaw Warriors 2 – Status: Final
Friday, August 31, 2018 – Brandt Centre – Regina, SK
Saskatoon 0 3 1 – 4
Moose Jaw 0 1 1 – 2
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Doust Sas (hooking), 5:10; Roykas Marthinsen Sas (slashing), 12:49; Kaddoura Sas (delay of game), 18:27.
2nd Period-1, Moose Jaw, Sterling 1 (Popple, Benson), 9:09. 2, Saskatoon, Wouters 1 (Malysjev, Bafaro), 15:20 (PP). 3, Saskatoon, Bafaro 1 (Farren), 18:51 (PP). 4, Saskatoon, Gerlach 1 (Robins, Christensen), 19:13. Penalties-Nicholas Sas (cross checking), 4:11; Gerlach Sas (hooking), 11:49; Sukunda Mj (checking from behind), 12:14; Sanders Mj (boarding), 14:37; Buyalski Mj (cross checking), 17:43.
3rd Period-5, Moose Jaw, Tracey 1 (Hunt, Buyalski), 4:01 (PP). 6, Saskatoon, Ashton 1 (Christensen, Kaddoura), 16:33 (PP). Penalties-Roykas Marthinsen Sas (interference), 3:35; Brenton Mj (hooking), 5:07; Tracey Mj (holding), 8:58; Sterling Mj (charging), 15:11; Kaddoura Sas (hooking), 18:19.
Shots on Goal-Saskatoon 8-10-9-27. Moose Jaw 7-10-9-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Saskatoon 3 / 6; Moose Jaw 1 / 6.
Goalies-Saskatoon, Luding 1-0-0-0 (26 shots-24 saves). Moose Jaw, Berry 0-1-0-0 (27 shots-23 saves).
Referees-Ben Croker (81), Karlin Krieger (27).
Linesmen-Cam Kuffner (31).