Blades Explode for Nine Goals to Defeat Medicine Hat
SASKATOON, SK - The goals kept coming for the Saskatoon Blades Friday night, with four different players scoring two goals, leading to a dominating 9-2 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers at SaskTel Centre.
Alternate captains Tristen Robins and Rhett Rhinehart, and fellow forwards Jayden Wiens and Kyren Gronick all left with a pair of goals each. The win extends Saskatoon's winning streak to three games. They'll hunt down a fourth straight victory Saturday night, hosting the Winnipeg ICE for Pride Night.
Defenceman Ryan Nolan had a night to remember, scoring his first WHL goal against the team that drafted him. The former third-round pick of the Tigers played eight games in Medicine Hat before being acquired in a three-team trade in late December. The rookie 6-foot-0 blueliner played with the Calgary Northstars U18 squad, racking six assists in 30 games before making the jump to junior.
Saskatoon earns its 20th victory of the season, improving to 20-14-1-1 on the campaign, while Medicine Hat tails to a 7-25-3-1 clip.
Forwards Trevor Wong and Noah Boyko helped create the magic, earning three assists each.
The Blades win the first half of a weekend back-to-back, and jump into sole possession of second place in the East Division.
Ethan Chadwick backstopped Saskatoon to the third win of his career, while Garin Bjorklund took the loss in the pipes for Medicine Hat. It was also the hometown boy's first win on home ice, stopping 28 of 30 shots.
Things didn't start off so hot for the home team though.
Tigers forward Logan Barlage opened the scoring under four minutes into the game, one-timing a pass from Carter Chorney off a three-on-one rush. It's the Humboldt, SK product's first goal since being dealt to the Medicine Hat Tigers from the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
About two minutes later, the Tigers pounced on the attack once again. 17-year-old Oasiz Wiesblatt was all alone near the side of the net, and buried a cross-crease pass from the goal-line to make it 2-0 Medicine Hat.
It didn't take the Blue and Gold long to plot some quick goals of their own.
Alternate captain Tristen Robins turned the tides for the Blades, scoring the 19th goal of his impressive season. The San Jose Sharks prospect saw an opening behind the Tigers back pair in the neutral zone, and controlled an air-mailed pass from defencemen Spence Shugrue to get in all alone on a breakaway. The pending WHL graduate extended his point streak to five games.
Carrot River, SK native Jayden Wiens didn't wait long to score his first goal back in the lineup, sniping it just 18 seconds after Robins. The 18-year-old sat out two games due to a suspension, but got right back to work scoring his career-high tenth of the season. Wiens was left unprotected at the top of the slot for Gronick to see, blasting a shot under the blocker of Bjorklund.
The Blades were hungry for more, and a late powerplay was all they needed to take their first lead of the game.
Forward Kyren Gronick scored his first as a member of the Blades organization, when a pass from forward Trevor Wong bounced off of his skate into the net. The Regina-born forward was acquired from the Prince George Cougars in a three-team trade, which also involved bringing in defencemen Ryan Nolan from Medicine Hat in late December.
Saskatoon went back to the power play about halfway through the second period, and steady blueliner Rhett Rhinehart fired a bomb from the point high-blocker to extend their lead 4-2. The 6-foot-4 defenceman now has three goals and 16 points on the year.
Robins continued finding open ice late in the second, and fired a short-handed goal under the blocker of Bjorklund. On the same penalty kill, Rhinehart jumped up on the wing and pulled off a nifty move to put it by the Tigers netminder, making it 6-2 Blades.
It would seal the fate on Bjorklund's night, allowing six goals on 16 shots. Beckett Langkow took over with a little less than three minutes to go in the second.
The Blades didn't slow down in the third, as Wiens scored his second goal of the night on a powerplay less than a minute in, making it seven unanswered for Saskatoon.
Groneck was sniffing around the net again, as Langkow kicked out a juicy rebound to the 2022 NHL draft-eligible forward, extending the Blades lead 8-2.
Not long after, former Tiger's defencemen Ryan Nolan collected his first career WHL goal against his former club. The 18-year-old from Calgary, AB has one goal and is a plus-three since joining his new team.
This is the third straight victory over Medicine Hat for Saskatoon. They'll wrap up their four-game season series next Tuesday when the Blades take a trip to the Gas City.
It's a quick turnaround for the Blades, as they play the following night against the top of the CHL Winnipeg ICE at SaskTel Centre.
• Discuss this story on the Western Hockey League message board...
Western Hockey League Stories from January 22, 2022
- Raiders End Weekend with Loss to Tigers - Prince Albert Raiders
- Preview: Ams and Chiefs Face off at Toyota Center - Tri-City Americans
- Game Day Hub: Jan 22 vs Seattle - Portland Winterhawks
- Preview: Warriors Looking to Carry Momentum into Road Trip - Moose Jaw Warriors
- Chiefs Look to Bounce Back at Tri-City - Spokane Chiefs
- Gameday Preview - January 22 at Prince Albert - Medicine Hat Tigers
- Game 37 - ICE at Saskatoon - Winnipeg Ice
- T-Birds Touchdown on Spokane - Seattle Thunderbirds
- Chiefs Start Road Trip with 7-0 Loss to Seattle Thunderbirds - Spokane Chiefs
- Blazers Stop Cougars' Streak - Prince George Cougars
- Pair of Third Period Goals Pushes Winterhawks Past Americans - Tri-City Americans
- Tigers Fall 9-2 to Blades - Medicine Hat Tigers
- Rebels Fire Three Power-Play Goals en Route to Yet Another Road Win - Red Deer Rebels
- Third-Period Swing Sees Broncos Fall to Hitmen - Swift Current Broncos
- Giants Return to the Win Column with a 4-2 Road Victory over the Royals - Vancouver Giants
- Austin Zemlak Scores First WHL Goal in Royals Loss - Victoria Royals
- Blades Explode for Nine Goals to Defeat Medicine Hat - Saskatoon Blades
- Kozak Nets Two as Hawks Top Tri-City 5-3 - Portland Winterhawks
- Raiders Drop Friday Night Tilt with ICE - Prince Albert Raiders
- Pats Legend Clark Gillies Passes Away - Regina Pats
- McClennon's Hat Trick Tops Prince Albert - Winnipeg Ice
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.