Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blades bounce back in Calgary

Saskatoon blew two two goal leads but a big goal in the final minute salvaged the win against the Calgary Hitmen.

Stefan Elliott scored on a point shot with one minute remaining to put the Blades up 4-3. Curtis Hamilton would hit the empty net with ten seconds remaining with the final being 5-3.

Hamilton led the way offensively with 2 goals and an assist. Darian Dziurzynski and Braeden Johnson added the other 2 goals for Saskatoon.

Adam Morrison made 16 saves on 19 shots in a winning cause.

Calgary got offense from Trevor Cheek, Prince Albert product Tyler Fiddler and Saskatoon born forward Jimmy Bubnick.

Michael Snider made 17 saves on 21 shots in the loss.

Saskatoon was 0 for 3 on the powerplay, with Calgary going scoreless in 6 chances with the man advantage.

Saskatoon will next be in action on Tuesday, when they host the Spokane Chiefs.

Blades lose big on the road

It was an ugly night in Red Deer last night as the Blades lost 7-1.

Things were fine through 20 minutes as the teams were scoreless, but just 17 seconds into the 2nd the Rebels got on the board. The Blades would tie it at one before the Rebels would score 6 in a row.

Andrej Kudrna led the way offensively with 3 goals and an assist.

Blades goalie Adam Morrison was pulled after allowing 4 goals on 28 shots as goalie Steven Stanford is out with a concussion.

The Blades are playing in Calgary this afternoon.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Blades new third jerseys...

The Saskatoon Blades have released an image of the third jerseys that they will wear on November 12th against the Portland Winter Hawks.

The jerseys can be seen here:


The PBR Canadian Cup National Finals presented by Wrangler are scheduled for Saskatoon, in Credit Union Centre, Nov. 19 and 20.

The jerseys are interesting to say the least. It should be fun to see and hear fans reaction to them, especially with the faux-denim look.

I'm not necessarily a huge fan, but I think it's fun to change things up once in a while, especially if it's only for one game.

What do you think of them?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Blades lose Stanford with possible concussion

It sounds like the Saskatoon Blades will be without their starting goalie for the immediate future.

20 year old Steven Stanford left yesterday's practice with a possible concussion. The preliminary story is that Stanford was hit with a shot from teammate Darian Dziurzynski

The Blades have already recalled 16 year old Adam Todd from the Midget Okanagan Rockets. Todd was a 4th round bantam pick in 2009 and is 3-2 this year with a GAA of 3.04 and an .871 save percentage.

This all means that 19 year old Adam Morrison must step up his game. He has been inconsistent to start the year to say the least.

A timeline for Stanford's return has not yet been set, but the team is hoping that he will be out for one week at the most.

The Blades are already on the road to Alberta where they play Red Deer tomorrow night and in Calgary on Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blades ranked 2nd in the country

A loss to Regina wasn't enough to stop the Blades climb up the CHL rankings as they moved from 3rd last week to 2nd this week.

Two other WHL teams cracked the top ten with Portland sitting in 7th with a record of 10-2-0-1. The Red Deer Rebels are 9th at 9-5-0-0. The Kootenay Ice are an honourable mention with their record of 9-3-0-1.

The only team ahead of Saskatoon is the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL, led by my idol Patrick Roy, with a very impressive record of 13-1-0-1.

Nino headed back to the Dub

The New York Islanders have returned first round pick Nino Niederreiter to the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL.

It's and interesting decision by the Isles, but one that I definitely agree with. I've had the chance to watch 3 or 4 Islander games this year and Nino never really jumped out at me. He didn't look out of place, but was never as involved as he could have been.

In 9 games he had a goal, an assist and was -1.

I think the time down in Portland will help him grow as a player and help him improve in key areas on the ice.

The move will also help the Western Hockey League.

Let's face it, Portland is already a very very good team, especially up front with their forwards. This move only improves that group which is a scary thought for opposing teams.

As a league, it will also put butts in seats. Nino is a name for people to come and see. That can do nothing but good.

From a personal standpoint, I already had the Portland Winterhawks game circled on my calendar when they come to Saskatoon on November 12th. This news only excites me further and that should definitely be a fun game to see.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Blades lose on the road in Regina

The winter storm whipping through the province wasn't the only thing wreaking havoc on Tuesday night.

The Regina Pats did some of their own as they overwhelmed the Saskatoon Blades in a 5-2 victory.

The Saskatoon Blades got an early goal from Marek Viedensky, and a late marker from Darian Dziurzynski, but in between the Pats dominated. Regina's top line did most of the damage, with Jordan Weal, Carter Ashton and Thomas Frazee combining for 6 points.

Much of that damage was done with the man advantage as Regina went 3 for 7 on the powerplay, while Saskatoon was 0 for 4.

By looking at the shots on goal, you would think the game was closer than it really was. Saskatoon ended up outshooting the Pats 35-33, but that was mostly due to a 20-4 advantage in the 3rd period where the Pats sat back and didn't even attempt to get any offense with the game all but wrapped up.

The Blades now sit 3-3 on the road, with all three losses being lopsided. They will have a chance to improve on that record this coming weekend as they head to Red Deer on Saturday, then Calgary on Sunday.

The loss wasn't the only bad news for the team, as the winter storm has us trapped in provincial capital. We were late getting to the game due to the bad weather and didn't even attempt to leave.

After our postgame meal the coaches did some phoning around and managed to find us 7 free rooms at a hotel. It makes the tough loss even tougher.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blades head to Regina

The Saskatoon Blades are looking to keep their winning ways going as they hit the snow covered roads to Regina.

Saskatoon is coming off of a big weekend that saw them win 2 games over Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.

Regina meanwhile is coming off a winning weekend as they swept a home and home against the Swift Current Broncos. That included a 7-4 win on Sunday, where the Pats got 7 different goal scorers.

That trend will have to continue if the Pats want to win tonight.

Saskatoon has had a ton of success in Regina over the years. In fact, the Pats have not won at home against the Blades since November of 2007. The Blades have also picked up atleast one point in their last 10 trips to the provincial capital.

Here are my keys to the game:

For Regina

- Protect their home ice. They only have 2 wins in 8 games on home ice, and have surrendered more goals on home ice then any team in the Eastern Conference.

- Continue to score as a team. In the 7-4 win on Sunday, 7 different players scored. That makes it much easier to win games.

- Stay out of the box. The Pats home penalty kill is not too shabby @ 83%, but Saskatoon’s powerplay is picking up steam and is better on the road then it is at home.

For Saskatoon

- Stop Jordan Weal. I thought they did a solid job shutting him down the last time they played, even though he did score on October 2nd. But he is the guy that brings the offense for this team game in and game out.

- Go to the crease. Damian Ketlo is coming off two very good starts and Saskatoon will benefit from making it tough for him to see the puck.

- Don’t play down to the competition. Coming off two big wins it could be easy to try and take the Pats likely tonight. That can’t happen. The coaches and leaders on this team must have the guys ready to play as soon as that puck is dropped.

These two teams did meet once this year with Saskatoon winning 6-2.

You can catch this game on 92.9 The Bull, with the pre-game show starting at 6:30.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saskatoon win again, this time over Medicine Hat

After a couple of subpar performances against Moose Jaw and the Lethbridge Hurricanes, the Saskatoon Blades bounced back with one of their more complete efforts of the year last night.

Saskatoon moved to 7-0 at home with a 4-1 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers.

The game was scoreless nearly midway through until Curtis Hamilton broke through on the powerplay. Marek Viedensky would add another powerplay marker not even 45 seconds later to make it 2-0.

Darian Dziurzynski would score his 9th of the year to make it 3-0 Blades after 40 minutes.

Marek Viedensky would tie Z for the team lead in goals with his 9th of the year in the first two minutes of the third period. That marker was shorthanded, his second such goal on the season. It was also Saskatoon's league-leading 5th shortie of the year.

Steven Stanford's shutout bid was ended at 4:02 of the third with Dylan Bredo breaking the goose egg. Stanford ended up making 25 saves to get the win. Edmonton Oilers draft pick Tyler Bunz made 27 saves in a losing effort for the Tigers.

The special teams was a big part of this hockey game and Saskatoon won that battle. The Blades went 2 for 9 with the man advantage, while Medicine Hat went 0 for 8 on the powerplay.

Saskatoon now has a pair of days off before heading to Regina on Tuesday. That game can be heard live on 92.9 The Bull.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Blades earn come from behind win

Good teams find ways to win games, even when they don't play their best.

That's exactly what the Saskatoon Blades did on Friday night against the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes.

16 year old Ryan Olsen ended up scoring the lone goal in the shootout as the Blades won 4-3 at CUC.

It was a come from behind victory for Saskatoon, as they trailed 3-1 during the 2nd period. Saskatoon got a goal from Curtis Hamilton near the end of the 2nd to cut it to 3-2. Then, with 4:30 remaining in the 3rd, Duncan Siemens got his first of the year on the powerplay to tie things up.

Saskatoon's other goal came from Ryan Olsen in the first period, his first career WHL point.

Lethbridge got goals from forwards Mitch Maxwell and Mark Reners. Defenseman and captain Mike Reddington had the third goal.

Brandon Anderson make 33 saves in a losing cause, while Adam Morrison made 24 saves in regulation, and three stops in the shootout to earn the win.

Saskatoon welcomes the Medicine Hat Tigers to town Saturday night at CUC. Med Hat is coming off a 9-2 romp of the Prince Albert Raiders Friday night, and are obviously rolling on all cylinders.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Three Blades chosen to Team WHL

The 2010 Subway Super Series is just around the corner against the Russians. It's the 8th edition of the event where a team of Russian All Stars take on teams of CHL All Stars.

This year the Saskatoon Blades had three players named to the roster.

Forwards Curtis Hamilton and Darian Dziurzynski were named, along with defenseman Stefan Elliott.

The series takes place November 8th through the 18th.

You can find the rest of the rosters here:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blades win streak snapped

It was bound to happen sometime, and it sure wasn't pretty.

The Saskatoon Blades 6 game winning streak came to a screeching halt last night in Moose Jaw.

Darian Dziurynski opened the games scoring, but it was all downhill from there. Moose Jaw used their speed and size to win the majority of the battles for loose pucks and ended up walking away with a 5-1 victory.

The Warriors goal scorers were Antonin Honejsek, Joey Kornelson, Dylan Hood and NHL first round pick Quinton Howden with 2.

Steven Stanford started the game for Saskatoon, but was pulled.

Saskatoon's coaches were not pleased with the effort and it was clear why. It might have been the worst effort I have personally seen out of the club all season (I wasn't in Brandon for the 7-0 loss).

But speaking of that loss to Brandon, it seemed to wake the team up as they rattled off 6 wins in a row. It will be interesting to see how the team bounces back this weekend.

They host Lethbridge on Friday and Medicine Hat on Saturday.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Blades make a deal

The Saskatoon Blades got a little bit older this afternoon, acquiring 19 year old forward Jake Trask from the Kamloops Blazers.

The Blades gave up a 6th round bantam pick in 2012 for the Saskatoon native.

Trask plays the wing and center and had 13 goals last season.

In order to make room for him up front, the Blades also re-assigned forward Brett Stovin to the Interlake Lightning of the Manitoba Midget AAA league.

Stovin just scored his first career WHL goal on Saturday night against Lethbridge, so it's obviously tough news for the 16 year old.

Trask should get his first action with the team tomorrow night when they travel to Moose Jaw.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Blades sweep Alberta road swing

This team continues to get it done.

After a 2-1 win on Friday night in Red Deer, the Blades shutout the Lethbridge Hurricanes last night 4-0.

After a 40 save performance from Steven Stanford on Friday, Adam Morrison answered the call last night. He made 37 saves for his first shutout of the year.

Stefan Elliott was given credit for the game winner after scoring shorthanded midway through the first.

Other Blades goal scorers were Marek Viedensky (7th), Brent Benson (1st) and Levi Bews (1st).

The Blades now move to 8-1 on the season and still feature the top winning percentage in the entire league.

Next up for Saskatoon, a road game in Moose Jaw on Tuesday. Once again you can hear that game on 92.9 The Bull.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Blades earn big win in Red Deer

Steven Stanford was the backbone last night for the Saskatoon Blades as they kicked off a 2 game Alberta road swing with a 2-1 win over Red Deer.

Stanford made 40 saves in total, including 30 over the final two periods.

Dalton Thrower had a goal and an assist for Saskatoon and Marek Viedensky had the other goal, which turned out to be the game winner.

Saskatoon now moves to 7-1 to start the year. They will try to extend that record to 8-1 with a win tonight from Lethbridge.

As always, that game can be heard live on 92.9 The Bull.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blades kick off Alberta road trip in Red Deer

Tonight is a big test for the Saskatoon Blades.

The teams with the two top winning percentages in the league are going head to head from Red Deer as the Blades take on the Rebels.

Saskatoon has two things working against them.

First of all, they are playing on the road against a team that has won 4 games in a row.

And second of all, the team hasn't played in a week.

Saskatoon has also won 4 games in a row, but it is tough to have any momentum in that regard when you have such a large breaks in between games.

Another concern for them? Shutting down Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The 17 year old is expected to be a top 3 pick in this June's draft. He's currently tied for 4th in the league in scoring with 14 points in 9 games.

It will be interesting to see how Saskatoon comes out early in this hockey game. Luckily for them they drove to Red Deer yesterday and stayed the night. That should allow them to be a bit more rested up and ready to play when the puck drops tonight at 7:30 Saskatchewan time. It can be heard on 92.9 The Bull.

Tomorrow night Saskatoon heads to Lethbridge to take on the Hurricanes to finish up the 2 game Alberta trip.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blades now the 4th ranked team in the country

This week's edition of the BMO Mastercard CHL rankings are out, and the Saskatoon Blades have moved up again.

After being ranked 8th in the country last week, the team now sits 4th.

The team features the best winning percentage in the WHL, winning 85.7 percent of their games so far. Through 7 games they are 6-1.

Two other WHL teams cracked the top ten. The Tri City Americans sit 6th and the Red Deer Rebels are 7th.

The Saskatoon Blades are getting on the bus today and driving to Alberta. They will stay overnight in Red Deer tonight before playing the Rebels tomorrow night. They then play Lethbridge on Saturday night.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Josh Nicholls expected to play this weekend?

Yesterday was decision day for Brendan Shinnimin of the Tri City Americans.

He was suspended 12 games for his devastating hit from behind on Saskatoon Blades forward Josh Nicholls. Nicholls suffered a concussion, bruised back and bruised knees during the hit.

At the time of the injury, he was tied for the team lead in scoring with 10 points in 6 games.

Now that the suspension has been handed out, the question shifts to the health of Nicholls.

Well, it sounds like he won't be out much longer.

My colleague Les Lazaruk had a chance to talk with Nicholls yesterday about the hit and the suspension. He didn't mince words, saying he was disappointed Shinnimin wasn't sat for longer.

Nicholls also updated his injury status. He says that he is hoping to be back in the lineup on Friday when the Blades visit the Red Deer Rebels.

Will Coach and GM Lorne Molleken actually put him in the lineup on Friday or Saturday in Lethbridge? That's yet to be seen. Will he play the following Tuesday in Moose Jaw? Who knows.

But it sounds like he is close to returning, and that is definitely good news for the team, the fans and the league.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shinnimin suspended 12 games

The WHL has finally announced the punishment for Tri City Americans forward Brendan Shinnimin after his devastating hit from behind on Saskatoon Blades forward Josh Nicholls.

The hit occurred on the 6th of October, so the league has taken their time to make the announcement.

According to the WHL's discipline section of their webiste.....the decision is to sit Shinnimin for 12 games:

I had my doubts as to whether or not the league would suspend him for any more than 5 or 6 games, so this decision is shocking, but definitely in a pleasing way.

After having almost a week to think about the incident, I still think it might be the worst hit I have ever seen.

It would be interesting to see what factors all played into the league's decision in this case. The biggest being the fact that Shinnimin is an elite player in the league, and at the time of the incident, was tied for the league lead in scoring.

I'm sure more details around the decision will be released very soon as the mainstream media should talk about this hit even further now that the long weekend is over and the decision has been made.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dziurzynski honoured for big week

Blades forward Darian Dziurzynski has been named the WHL's player of the week.

In only two games, he registered 5 goals and was a +3 to pace the Blades to victories over Tri City on Wednesday and Moose Jaw on Friday.

He scored his first 2 goals in a 5-3 win against Tri City and was named the 2nd star of the game. On Friday he followed up that performance with a hattrick and was named star 1 of the game.

Darian's play has been a welcomed boost to this club. Starting the season the top line of Hamilton-Viedensky-Nicholls was on fire and providing the majority of the offense. The team was in dire need of secondary scoring, and Dziurzynski has been the guy to provide that.

His role will continue to be an important one, especially now that Josh Nicholls will be missing from the lineup on a week to week basis.

The team continues their week off as they travel to Red Deer on Thursday, before playing the Rebels on Friday night.

For the lucky ones who have the day off today, enjoy it and Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Talk about a bad week for Brandon

The last 7-10 days has been something to forget for the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Last weekend started on a great note with a 7-0 win over the visiting Saskatoon Blades, but since then, it doesn't seem like anything has gone right.

That weekend ended with losses on Saturday and Sunday night to Prince Albert and the Blades respectively.

After that, it was revealed that the Wheaties had suffered a few injuries.

David Toews, Michael Ferland and Jordan Fransoo were all going to be missing an extended period of time.

The team had a 5 day break to try and regroup, but then lost to Red Deer on Friday night at home. Not exactly the way you want to answer after a big break in the schedule.

Then last night, they lost again, this time to Tri City.

And that wasn't the only bad news for them last night. They could have flicked on the TV and watched there 19 year old forward Brayden Schenn playing for the Los Angeles Kings against the Vancouver Canucks. If they would've done that, they would've seen him stand out as the BEST King on the ice.

That's another dose of bad news for a team that is in a bit of a tail spin at the moment. Schenn is still eligible to return for the Kings this year as a 19 year old. But after a performance like that, I'm not so sure that's in the cards.

Sure, it was only one game. But the Kings weren't shy about using there young new toy. Schenn was on the first powerplay unit and surely wasn't going to let that opportunity go to waste. He was creating chances offensively. He was setting up shop around the crease. He was also making dynamic plays on the backcheck. The kid surely is the full package.

And, unfortunately for Brandon, the Kings new toy might be in LA to stay.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sure wasn't pretty, but it was a W

The Saskatoon Blades remain perfect at home after another win tonight, this time against the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors.

It was a game filled with bouncing pucks, turnovers and overall sloppy play, but Saskatoon came away with a 6-4 win.

Saskatoon led the game 4-2 heading into the third before the Warriors struck twice early in the period to knot the game at 4.

The game remained deadlocked until the final minute.

Braeden Johnson, who filled in for injured Josh Nicholls on the top line, tried to set up a streaking Curtis Hamilton with under 30 seconds to go. The scoring chance failed but Hamilton was able to send the puck back to the point where a waiting Stefan Elliott had a ton of time to release a rocket of a slapshot past Warriors goalie Thomas Heemskerk. With 20 seconds remaining on the clock, the Blades were out in front for good 5-4.

Darian Dziurzynski would add the empty netter for his hattrick, to make the final 6-4. That's 5 goals in the last 2 games for Z, and he is truly providing the secondary offense this team needed.

Saskatoon moves to 6-1 with the win, with Moose Jaw falling to 2-5. Saskatoon is also unbeaten at home, sitting at 5-0.

Next up for the Blades, a game one week from tonight in Red Deer.

Shinnimin's disgusting hit on Nicholls

Saskatoon's win over the Tri City American's on Wednesday night was overshadowed by a terribly scary hit near the end of the game.

With 2 minutes remaining in the game, Blades forward Josh Nicholls was the victim of a terrible hit from behind by the league's co-leading scorer Brendan Shinnimin.

I will be honest, I did not see the play as it happened. I'm almost glad I didn't.

Yesterday video surfaced of the hit, and it was worse than I could have imagined.

Speaking to the coaches after the game, they were disgusted, but wouldn't elaborate much on their true thoughts. Shinnimin has been suspended indefinitely for now, with the full decision coming within the next day or two.

Nicholls on the other hand suffered a concussion, a bruised back and a bruised knee. Coach and GM Lorne Molleken says they will take his injuries "week to week".

For those who haven't seen the video, here it is. It truly is gutless.

Another element of the hit is that Shinnimin took a run at another player only a few minutes earlier.

Blades captain Teigan Zahn had the puck behind his own net as Shinnimin came in on the forecheck. He came in full speed and caught Zahn from the back and from the side, slamming his head into the boards. It was a very similar hit to the one that occurred in the OHL last year between Ben Fanelli and Michael Liambis. Luckily Zahn is huge and was able to soften the blow from the smaller Shinnimin.

I really hope the WHL makes an example out of him, leading scorer in the league or not. It was a brutal hit, without the puck, with clear intent to injure.

What should the suspension be?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Saskatoon Blades down to 2 goalies

More roster changes for the Blades today as 17 year old goalender Adam Iwan has been re-assigned to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

He will suit up for the Neepawa Natives.

Iwan played his way onto the team this fall after posting solid numbers in pre-season, where he appeared in 3 games.

It was a tough regular season for him though. He only made one appearance, and it was in mop-up duty of Adam Morrison in the Blades blow out loss to Brandon last Friday. He allowed a pair of goals on 10 shots in just over 11 minutes of action.

The team seems to finally be set, atleast for the time being.

This move means that 20 year old Steven Stanford is entrenched as the number one goalie, with 19 year old Adam Morrison providing a consistent backup plan.

I think that's a very good duo to have, and something that will be necessary for this team to make a deep run this year.

It seems the whole team is truly buying into the plan of being a contender this year as well.

After the win last night against Tri City, I had a chance to ask Adam Morrison what he thought about "competing" with Steven Stanford for playing time.

He simply said, it's not about competing. He said they are teammates first and foremost. They cheer for each other, and trust that the other guy will bring his best effort. It's all about helping the team win.

It was a very mature answer and a true sign of a winning player and a winning team.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blades win again, move to 4-0 at home

This time, the visiting Tri City Americans fell victim to the red hot Saskatoon Blades.

Josh Nicholls and Darian Dziurzynski each had two goals to pace the Blades to the victory 5-3. Marek Viedensky continued his strong play, adding the other tally in a winning cause.

Adam Morrison won in his second start of the year, making 24 saves on 27 shots.

The win moves the team to 5-1, the best start for the franchise since 1985.

It was another big test of character for Saskatoon as Tri City came in as the number one team in the WHL's Western Conference.

Saskatoon might have been dealt a bit of a blow near the end of the game as Josh Nicholls was hit hard into the boards and was injured, staying on the ice for several minutes. He managed to get up and skate off on his own power, but the way he was sprawled on the ice did not look good.

Personally, I never saw the hit, but the Blades coaches were not pleased with it afterwards and said the league would be having a look at it. So, obviously it wasn't pretty.

What I did see was a lack of pride from the Tri City Americans after the hit. The Blades came to the aid of there injured teammmate, but not one Tri City American player would fight and stand up for themselves. It was quite a sad thing to see.

The Blades will once again be on home ice on Friday night to take on Moose Jaw. The game can be heard on The Bull 92.9 if you can't make it down to CUC.

Blades face another stiff test tonight

It's a battle of the top in the East against the top in the West as the Saskatoon Blades play host to the Tri City Americans tonight at CUC.

Tri City is coming off a tough loss last night in Prince Albert, after leading that game 2-0 midway through the second. The Americans are playing the 2nd game of a 6 game road trip against all the Eastern Division teams. The 6 games will be played in only 8 days, so it's not an easy task.

Saskatoon is coming off of 2 wins in 3 days last weekend, which was capped off with a last minute win against Brandon on Sunday.

A big key for the Blades tonight is shutting down Brendan Shinnimin, who leads the WHL in scoring with 12 points in 6 games.

Tri City is 4-1-1 on the year, including 1-1-1 on the road. Saskatoon is 4-1-0, including 3-0 at home.

If you can't make it to the game, listen to it on 92.9 The Bull starting with the pregame show at 6:30.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Former Blade Captain earns job in ECHL

Last year's Blades Captain Derek Hulak has earned a contract with the Reading Royals of the East Coast Hockey League.

Last season with Saskatoon he led the team in scoring with 84 points, including 31 goals.

Hulak attended rookie training camp with the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes this fall and atleast one team saw him as a player with the future.

Good luck to Hulak and I look forward to following his progress up the ladder in the hockey world.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Injury bug hits the Wheaties

Hours after suffering a tough loss to the Saskatoon Blades, the Brandon Wheat Kings have received some bad news on the injury front.

Michael Ferland will be undergoing knee surgery later this week, and now two more players will be missing a chunk of time.

20 year old forward David Toews has a high ankle sprain. He's expected to miss atleast a month and a half, maybe even as long as two months as this type of injury tends to linger.

Also, defenseman Jordan Fransoo will miss an indefinite amount of time with a broken foot. It turns out he suffered the injury almost two weeks ago against the Regina Pats. The first set of X-rays were negative for the North Battleford product and he continued to play. But a new set of X-rays revealed the damage.

Fransoo was one player that really stuck out in the game last night and I thought he was an impressive player on the Wheat Kings blueline against Saskatoon.

All three injuries are tough losses for a team that is already dealing with a fairly green lineup.

Blades earn character win over Brandon

It was a tough test for the Saskatoon Blades, trying to earn some early season revenge after a bad 7-0 loss in Brandon on Friday night.

It wasn't a pretty start as they trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes, but they got things going in the 2nd.

A great individual effort by Matej Stransky got the Blades on the board 6 and a half minutes into the second period and that seemed to be the spark the team needed.

Not even four minutes later Curtis Hamilton lifted a backhander up and over goalie Ty Rimmer to tie the game.

Then a minute and a half later, Marek Viedensky continued his red hot start to the season as he scored shorthanded to give the Blades the lead. It might have been the best 2nd period for Saskatoon all year.

With under 10 minutes to play in the third a shot by Wheaton King (tell me his parents knew he was going to play for Brandon with a name like that) bounced off the end boards and right to Paul Ciarelli who buried it into an empty net to tie the game.

But the Blades dug down deep and pulled it out. Marek Viedensky won a battle on the side boards and threw it into the slot for Josh Nicholls who outwaited Ty Rimmer before sliding it in five hole for the winning goal with a minute and a half to play.

When it was all said and done, Saskatoon had a 4-3 victory and have a bit of swagger back in their step.

Steven Stanford continues his good start to the year, making 26 saves in a winning effort. The three stars of the game where Mark Stone (3), Matej Stransky (2) and Marek Viedensky (1).

Next up for Saskatoon another stiff test. The Tri City Americans are in town on Wednesday night. If you can't make it to the game, it can be heard live on 92.9 The Bull.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Blades Trade Acolatse

The Saskatoon Blades 20 year old situation has finally been resolved, kind of.

Forward Sena Acolatse has been traded to the Prince George Cougars for a 2011 3rd round pick. It seems to be a very very nice return for a guy who hadn't even established any kind of role on this year's team.

Acolatse will join former teammate Charles Inglis in Prince George, where he is expected to make his debut tomorrow night.

That means that the 20 year olds are goaltender Steven Stanford, captain and defenseman Teigan Zahn and first line center Marek Viedensky. I said it solved the situation "kind of" because the Blades still have the rights to defenseman Jyri Niemi and Galean Patterson, but both of those players aren't expected back.

The next and final thing to be solved for this team is the story between the pipes. Stanford is now a lock for this team, which means either Adam Morrison or Adam Iwan are soon to be gone. The Blades will not carry a third goalie for the year.

Who is the odd man out between the two? Or could it be both? Those are the final questions.

Morrison has the most value, and could very well be traded. But Iwan was shaky in his first performance of the year against Brandon on Friday. Could he be cut loose as well?

It may seem odd, but the team could possibly even bring in an 18 year old goalie through trade to serve as the teams backup behind Stanford.

The trade of Acolatse solves one more piece to the puzzle that is the 2010-2011 Saskatoon Blades, but don't be shocked if more changes are on the way yet.

Blades bounce back against the Pats

After a tough loss to Brandon on Friday night, the Saskatoon Blades bounced back with their most complete performance of the season against visiting Regina.

20 year old forward Marek Viedensky had three points in a game that ended in a 6-2 decision last night. Matej Stransky, Brett Stovin, Curtis Hamilton, Curt Gogol and Braeden Johnson all had their first goals of the season in the win.

The win moves the Blades to 3-1 and drops Regina to 1-4.

It was the middle game of three games in three nights, and the Blades will have revenge on their minds as the Brandon Wheat Kings visit the CUC tonight. Puck drop goes at 6:05.

If you can't make it to the game it can be heard on The Bull 92.9, starting at 5:30 with the pregame show.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Blades fall big to Brandon

Brandon is off to a red hot start to the season, and it showed last night as they whipped the Blades 7-0.

Scott Glennie led the charge for the Wheaties with a goal, an assist and a fight.

The Wheatkings move to 4-0 on the year as the Blades fell to 2-1. Saskatoon has a chance to bounce back from the tough loss as they host the Regina Pats tonight at the Credit Union Centre.

If you can't make it to the game, check it out on the radio on The Bull 92.9

Friday, October 1, 2010

Duncan Siemens gives up his 'A' and Stastny released

It was a bit of a surprise when 17 year old Duncan Siemens was named as an assistant captain this fall for the Blades, but today he decided to give that position up.

He has decided to give that honour to 19 year old defense partner Stefan Elliott. It's a great sign of maturity by Siemens, and he could very well be a future Blades captain.

Also today the team solved their import situation by releasing Slovakian Andrej Stastny.

The 19-year-old was the Blades first pick in the 2010 CHL Import Draft and was taken 55th overall.

Stastny was released due to complications with his release from the Slovakian Ice Hockey Federation. The Blades remaining imports are Assistant Captain Marek Viedensky from Slovakia and right-winger Matej Stransky of the Czech Republic.

Another early test for the Saskatoon Blades

Tonight the Blades hit the road to start a three games in three night’s stretch. Things start off on a very tough note as they take on the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Brandon is off to a red hot start, sitting at 3-0 on the year and are coming off a convincing 5-2 win in Moose Jaw on Wednesday.

Saskatoon is also sitting nicely at 2-0 early in the year after a weekend sweep of Prince Albert last weekend.

Two Blades will make their 2010-2011 regular season debut’s for the team tonight, goalie Adam Morrison and forward Sena Acolatse.

Morrison is back from Philadelphia Flyers camp and is getting the start tonight. With the team currently carrying 4 20 year olds, Lorne Molleken has decided that Steven Stanford will be in street clothes for tonight’s game, rather than wasting a 20 year old spot on a backup goalie.

That means Sena Acolatse will be inserted into the lineup after being a victim of a numbers game in the two games against the Raiders.

The team still has much to decide in regards to the 20 year old situation, and the play of Morrison could go a long way in helping them make those decisions.

I’m not making the trip with the team to Brandon, but will be listening on The Bull 92.9 FM. We are also on the radio as the Blades host Regina Saturday night, and Brandon on Sunday. Thanks for reading and Go Blades!