Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blades 7 Rebels 5

The final regular season meeting between the top two teams in the Western Hockey League was a back and forth struggle. In the end it was a physical battle en route to the Blades 7-5 win and 3-1 domination of the season series against the Rebels.

The first period between the two rivals lived up to the expected intensity level. Darian Dziurzynski opened up the scoring, with a short-handed slap shot from the Blades’ side of centre ice that beat goaltender, Darcy Keumper. 23 second later, the Rebels’ Andrej Kudrna put a PP goal in from the mouth of the Blades’ net. Schenn scored directly before back-to-back scraps took place off the next two face-offs. The fights featured Dziurzynski taking on Josh Cowen and Lukas Sutter battling the Rebels’ Locke Muller. Ness evened up the score to finish off the eventful period at 2-2.

In the second, top prospect, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, scored to give the Rebels their first and only lead of the night. Saskatoon D-man, Dalton Thrower, picked the right time to score his sixth goal of the season; he tied the game at 3-3. The Rebels had an opportunity with a 2-man advantage in the final minutes of the period but couldn’t get past goaltender, Steven Stanford.

The Blades jumped out to a 2-point lead at the beginning of the third with Schenn scoring his second goal of the night and Josh Nicholls chipping in with one 16 seconds apart. Colin Archer closed in the gap with another Rebels goal. The back-and-forth continued as Chris Collins scored his 15th goal of the season, followed by Daulton Siwak for the Rebels. Still one point behind in the last minute, the Rebels pulled their netminder, Kuemper, and Jake Trask found the open net to put the game on ice. The Blades outshot the Rebels 37-23 and beat the top contender 7-5.

The Blades play the Regina Pats tomorrow night at home in the CUC, puck drops at 7:05.

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