Hot Start Not Enough as Blades Fall 5-2 in Edmonton
EDMONTON, AB - The Saskatoon Blades ran out of gas against a well-oiled Edmonton Oil Kings squad on Sunday afternoon.
The Central Division-leaders scored four goals in the third period, handing the Blades a 5-2 loss to wrap up a three-game road trip through Alberta.
Saskatoon jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 20 minutes, and maintained a 2-1 advantage after 40, but injury woes and an energy-depleted bench proved costly down the stretch.
Trevor Wong and Kyle Crnkovic struck for Saskatoon, and also collected assists for their second multi-point performances of the weekend. The two forwards also scored in Friday's 3-1 victory in Red Deer.
Making his third start in as many days, Maier turned aside 36 of 41 shots. Sebastian Cossa made 19 saves in the victory for Edmonton.
The Blades will now return home to recharge ahead of another road trip next weekend, featuring back-to-back games against the East Division leading Winnipeg ICE.
Wong and Crnkovic worked in some new-found chemistry in the first period, setting up goals for one another. Vancouver, BC's Wong sent a pass to a streaming Crnkovic in the high slot, who picked the top corner on Cossa to make it 1-0.
Crnkovic is now up to a team-leading 12 goals on the campaign.
Later in the frame, on a four-minute powerplay, Crnkovic put the moves on the Oil Kings defence while skating backwards though the attacking zone. The Chestermere, AB product, who had his parents watching from the stands, slipped Wong a delicate pass in tight who made no mistake.
Dylan Guenther drew the Oil Kings within one past the midway of the second. The Arizona Coyotes prospect ripped an NHL-caliber one-timer from the near circle that whistled by Maier's shoulder.
In a game where the Blades were limited to just five defenceman to start, Charlie Wright left early in the second with an upper body injury. Fellow blue-liners Rhett Rhinehart and Ben Saunderson are sidelined with injuries, and Tanner Molendyk is in Ottawa competing in the Capital City Challenge, leaving just four available for the rest of the game.
Edmonton took advantage of a depleted Blades blue line, scoring four times in the final 20 minutes to secure a 5-2 win. Neighbours scored twice, while Jakub Demek and Carter Souch also found the scoresheet.
It's Edmonton's seventh win in eight games, improving to 16-4-2-1, while the Blades leave Alberta winning one of three, holding a 12-8-1-0 clip.
The boys will recharge in Saskatoon in hopes of returning to the win column next weekend against Winnipeg.
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Western Hockey League Stories from November 28, 2021
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