September 15, 2018
by Robert Murray
They may never lose again!
Well, it’s only the pre-season, but the Saskatoon Blades continued to roll along Thursday at the SaskTel Centre in a regular season-type atmosphere, downing the visiting Regina Pats by a 3-2 score to boost their record to a perfect 6-0-0-0 on the back of a 45-save performance from Nolan Maier.
First-period goals from Kirby Dach and Zachary Ashton powered the Blades to an early lead while Brandon Machado’s first of the pre-season proved to be the difference in the contest after coming late in the game.
Dach scored his third of the pre-season 3:04 into the first period, followed by Ashton’s second of the pre-season nearly nine minutes later.
The Pats did put up a strong challenge to the Blades with Garrett Wright’s second of the pre-season coming late in the second to cut the Blades’ lead in half.Playing in his second pre-season game, Robbie Holmes tied the game 11:12 into the third. Just minutes later though, Machado put the home side ahead for good.
When the Blades needed a save, Maier was there for them with 14 saves in the first, 12 in the second, and 19 in the third. Splitting the game in net, Carter Woodside and Matthew Pesenti each recorded 14 saves with the latter of the two allowing a pair of goals.
Michael Farren and Jackson Caller each picked up a pair of assists in the game, factoring in on the Blades’ first and third goals. Brady Nicholas had the lone assist on Saskatoon’s second goal.
Wright picked up a primary assist on Holmes’ goal as Marco Creta picked up a helper too. Austin Pratt had the lone assist on Wright’s goal.
The Blades will take their shot at a perfect pre-season record when they make their third trip of the WHL pre-season to the Art Hauser Centre to take on the Prince Albert Raiders on Saturday, September 15 (7:00 p.m. MT). The Pats will also take on the Raiders, hosting them at the Brandt Centre Friday, September 14 (7:00 p.m. MT).
Five WHL pre-season games will feature in Friday’s action while seven more will take place Saturday. The WHL pre-season concludes Sunday, September 16 when the Moose Jaw Warriors host the Brandon Wheat Kings at Mosaic Place.