SASKATOON BLADES vs. PRINCE ALBERT RAIDERS
Tonight’s game is the sixth of eight regular season meetings this season between the Saskatoon Blades (27-8-0-1) and the Prince Albert Raiders (14-20-2-2). The Blades have defeated the Raiders four out of the five times they have met this season including last night’s 4-3 victory in Prince Albert.
Josh Nicholls leads the Blades’ offensive attack vs. the Raiders this season having picked up 4 goals and 3 assists for 7 points. Chris Collins has picked up 5 points (1G 4A) in 3 games played against the Raiders this year as a member of the Saskatoon Blades. Steven Stanford is 4-0 against the Raiders this season with a 91.9% save percentage. For the Raiders, Brandon Herrod continues to dominate the Blades this year as he has now picked up 7 goals and 2 assists in the 5 head to head match-ups vs. Saskatoon. These 9 points account for over 25% of Herrod’s total point production this season (he has 34 points in 37 games for the Raiders this season).
Blades Last Game
They almost frittered away the two points, but the Saskatoon Blades recovered their composure (and the lead) on the way to a 4-3 triumph over the Raiders Wednesday night in Prince Albert. The Bridge City Bunch accumulated leads of 1-0 and 3-0 at the period breaks on goals by Jake Trask, Josh Nicholls and Chris Collins. But, the 14-20-2-2 Raiders rallied to tie the score in the first 6:09 of the third frame on goals by Justin Maylan, Andrew Herle, and Brandon Herrod. P.A. then received a power play chance, only to have the Blades kill it off and get the winning goal a few moments later from Brent Benson. Collins assisted on the goal for two helpers and a three-point night. Prince Albert out-shot Saskatoon 42-35 as former Raider Steven Stanford made 39 saves to improve his personal record to 18-2.
- With last night’s win in Prince Albert, the Saskatoon Blades established a new franchise record for points at the midway point of the season with 55. The Blades record of 27-8-0-1, which has them ranked first overall in the WHL, is one point better than the record they had last year at this time when they had a 26-8-1 record good for 54 points.
- 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
- The Saskatoon Blades enter tonight’s game riding a 7 game home winning streak. It is the 2nd time this season the Blades have had a 7 game winning streak on home ice. The Blades boast the league’s best home record with a 14-1-0-1 record in 16 games played at Credit Union Centre.
- The Blades defensive corps of Stefan Elliott, Teigan Zahn, Duncan Siemens, Darren Dietz, Dalton Thrower, and Connor Cox has combined for an incredible combined plus minus rating of +72 through 36 games played this season. As well the Blades rear guards have combined for a league leading 28 goals from the Blue Line this season.
- Marek Viedensky played in his 150th career WHL game last night in Prince Albert. The 20 year old San Jose Sharks prospect has appeared in 60 games for the Blades since being acquired from the Prince George Cougars midway through last season. In those 60 games, Viedensky has collected 31 goals and 30 assists for the Bridge City Bunch.