Tonight’s game is the fifth of eight regular season meetings this season between the Saskatoon Blades (26-8-0-1) and the Prince Albert Raiders (14-19-2-2). The Blades have defeated the Raiders three out of the four times they have met this season including the last time they met on November 27th by a score of 6-2.
Josh Nicholls leads the Blades offensive attack vs. the Raiders this season having picked up 3 goals and 3 assists for 6 points. Darian Dziurzynski and Lukas Sutter each have chipped in offensively with 2 goals and 2 assists a piece. Steven Stanford is 3-0 against the Raiders this season with a 91.6% save percentage. For the Raiders Brandon Herrod has feasted upon the Blades this season having collected 6 goals and 1 assist in the 4 head to head match-ups.
Blades Last Game
The Saskatoon Blades headed into the Christmas break as the top team in the entire Western Hockey League. The Bridge City Bunch allowed Edmonton to score the first and last goals of the game on December 18th ...but tallied four of their own in between for a 4-2 triumph over the Oil Kings in front of 3,559 fans at Credit Union Centre. The result gives the Blades a 26-8-1 record for 53 points. Brent Benson scored twice with singles from Jake Trask and Stefan Elliott. The defenseman’s tally was his 14th of the season and turned out to be the game-winner early in the third period. Steven Stanford stopped 30 shots to improve his personal goaltending record to 17-2. Saskatoon out-shot Edmonton 33-32.
- On Monday the Blades recalled forwards Tim McGauley (95) and Hudson Morrison (94). McGauley was the Blades first round draft pick in this past years WHL Bantam Draft and has been playing for the Regina Pat Canadians of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League where he has picked up 6 goals and 6 assists this season. Morrison joins the Blades after playing 23 games and getting 22 points for the Southwest Cougars of the Manitoba M-AAA Hockey League.
- Last Wednesday Duncan Siemens was named one of 13 WHL players invited to participate in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects game in Toronto on January 18th and 19th. Siemens is having a tremendous sophomore season having already collected 23 points and an impressive +20 rating through 35 games played this season.
- For the 14th consecutive week, the Saskatoon Blades find themselves ranked in the CHL Top 10 Rankings. For the 4th straight week the panel of NHL scouts which tabulate the rankings ranked the Blades #6 overall.
By The Numbers
- With a win tonight the Saskatoon Blades would set a new franchise record for points at the midway point of the season. Last season the Blades established the now franchise record with 54 points (after posting a 25-7-4 record). A Blades win tonight would give them 55 points.
- Stefan Elliott enters tonight’s game riding a 9 game point streak. During that time, Elliott has picked up 13 points and scored goals in 6 of the last 7 games. Elliott leads all WHL defenseman with 14 goals and the entire WHL with 8 GWG’s.
- The Saskatoon Blades have 5 players ranked in the top 10 in the leagues +/- stat category. Curtis Hamilton, who is away playing with Team Canada at the World Juniors, leads the league with a +27 mark while Stefan Elliott is 2nd with a +25. Marek Viedensky and Duncan Siemens are tied for 5th with +20 marks and Josh Nicholls is ranked 8th in the league with a +18.