Blades goaltender Logan Flodell set the stage for the Blades 5-3 win over the Raiders in the early going, stopping Cavin Leth on a breakaway and robbing Leth moments later after a great back-door setup by Curtis Miske.
Although Leth would finally solve Flodell with his 23rd goal of the season, a high short side snapshot at 8:13 of the first period, the 19-year-old netminder who recorded two shutouts against the Raiders earlier this season turned in a 36-save gem to spark the victory.
The Blades tied the game late in the first period as Jesse Shynkaruk went hard to the net on a 2-on-1 and jammed the puck under Raider goalie Nick Sanders.
Three unanswered Saskatoon goals in the second period proved to be the difference. Sanders was replaced by Ian Scott after Micheal Farren’s goal at 6:21 of the middle frame gave the Blades a 3-1 lead.
Scott made two great saves right after coming off the bench, but was beaten by Gage Ramsay from point blank range. The shorthanded goal stood up as the winner. Sanders stopped 11 of 14 shots while Scott stopped 11 of 12.
The Raiders came roaring back in the third period on a shorthanded goal by Parker Kelly, his 21st of the season, followed by Spencer Moe’s sixth, a conversion of a Max Martin rebound reducing the deficit to a single goal with over 11 minutes remaining.
Associate coach Dave Manson told the 900 CKBI post game show audience the third was their best period of the game after a substandard second frame.
“We took a stupid penalty that resulted in the go ahead goal and started reeling from there. We sure didn’t have everyone going in the second period and it cost us,” said Manson.
Manson felt the inability to bury some early chances was a huge factor.
“We got off to a good start but he (Flodell) made some big saves and they got some momentum after tying the game.”
The Raiders pressed throughout the third period and Tim Vanstone had a great chance to tie the game with six attackers, but his shot sailed just high of the top corner.
Josh Paterson scored into the empty net with less than a second left on the clock. Prince Albert’s power play went 0/4, while the Blades were 1/3.
The Blades were officially eliminated from playoff contention by Calgary’s 6-1 win in Kootenay while the Raiders remain one point back of Edmonton for 10th place in the Eastern conference.
The home-and-home series and the season for both team wraps up Saturday night at the Art Hauser Centre and Manson said a sold out rink would be a great way to end the season.
“Our players feed off the crowd and play with more energy when the rink is packed,” said Manson.
Prince Albert product Bryton Sayers and fellow Blade 20-year-old’s Shynkaruk and Markson Bechtold were named game stars and were also recognized during the Blades pregame award ceremony in front of just over 10-thousand Sastel Centre fans.
The Raiders will hand out three awards before Saturday’s opening face off and the rest will be announced in a post game on ice ceremony.
900 CKBI coverage of the Raiders final game of 2016-17 will begin at 6:35.
On twitter: RaidersVoice
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