By Lethbridge Herald on November 30, 2019.
The Saskatoon Blades struck late and trimmed a point away from the
Lethbridge Hurricanes as they emerged with a 4-3 shootout win in
Western Hockey League play Friday night at the Enmax Centre.
Coming off their U.S. road trip, the Blades were poised to come away
pointless until Zach Huber scored with 2:32 remaining to force overtime.
After a wild three-on-three tilt that produced glorious chances at
each end, Blade forward Kyle Crnkovic was the lone goal scorer in the
shootout as Saskatoon hit the road with the second point, while the
Hurricanes sit at 17-7-0-4.
The Blades are 14-12-1-1 with the win.
But by the end of the first period it seemed the Hurricanes were going
to pounce on the road-weary Blades, pumping 19 shots at Saskatoon
goaltender Nolan Maier and opening up a 2-0 lead.
After numerous early chances, the Canes got their first goal on their
15th shot and with 4:11 to go as Alex Thacker took a feed from Rylan
Thiessen at the Blades blue-line, fought off Nolan Kneen and shovelled
his second of the season past Maier.
The Hurricanes added one more before the period was over when Oliver
Okuliar scored shorthanded for his 19th goal of the season with
Lethbridge’s D-Jay Jerome in the box for a high-sticking double minor.
The Blades regrouped in the second and started their comeback, cutting
the Hurricanes lead to one on the power play when Eric Florchuk made
no mistake on a loose puck to the left of the Lethbridge goal and
snapping it over Canes goaltender Carl Tetachuk to make it 2-1 at 6:34.
Tetachuk was called upon to come up big later in the period with a
huge pad stop on Tristen Robbins after Robbins fought off Canes Ty
Saskatoon notched the equalizer with 1:01 to go in the second when
Jayden Wiens followed up on a shot from Randen Schmidt and managed to
sneak a shot past Tetachuk to tie it at 2-2 after two periods.
It only took the Hurricanes 1:17 into the third to regain the lead and
for Okuliar to score his league-leading 20th goal of the season,
finishing off a feed from Dylan Cozens on a short two-on-nothing for a
Okuliar had a chance for the hat trick a few minutes later, but was
turned aside by Maier with the glove hand 3:34 into the third.
With time winding down the Blades pulled even on Huber’s seventh of
the season to send the game to overtime.
The overtime produced some prime chances.
Okuliar fed Cozens for an in-close chance, but Cozens was unable to
tuck the chance home.
Saskatoon’s Scott Walford rang a shot off the right post behind
Tetachuk and heading back the other way Canes forward Zack Stringer
had a quick breakaway chance, but was unable to get his stick on the
rebound in the Blades crease.
In the shootout, Crnkovic scored on Tetachuk before the Hurricanes
goaltender stopped Tristen Robins and Riley McKay.
Maier stopped Cozens and Okuliar before Jerome hit the post and the
net was knocked off in the Hurricanes last chance to keep the shootout
The play was briefly video reviewed before being ruled no goal as the
Saskatoon secured the win.
The Hurricanes outshot the Blades 43-29 as Tetachuk made 26 saves and
Maier made 40.
The Blades power play was 1-for-3, while the Hurricanes were 0-for-2.
Friday’s announced attendance was 3,847.
The Hurricanes are in Medicine Hat to take on the Tigers Tuesday and
return to the Enmax Centre Wednesday at 7 p.m. when the Everett
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