Blades 5, Pats 2
Jayden Wiens not only helped keep Connor Bedard in check, but he also tallied twice Sunday as the Saskatoon Blades upended the visiting Regina Pats.
Trevor Wong, Lukas Hansen and Vaughn Watterodt also scored as the Blades hung on for a 5-2 victory before an announced crowd of 7,868 fans at SaskTel Centre.
Wiens was on the ice for both of his team’s power play goals and he won 12 of 20 faceoffs.
Bedard finished the night with a goal, an assist and minus-1 rating.
“You can never control a player like that, or eliminate a player like that, but you can make it a little more miserable than it typically would be,” said Sonne, noting that Wiens, Tyler Parr and Watterodt were handed the assignment of trying to shut down the highly touted Bedard, who is projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
“They did that. Wiens, Parr and Watterodt got that assignment and were really excited about it and did a good job — we’re definitely happy.”
It was the third straight win for the Blades, who improved their Western Hockey League record this season to 14-4-0.
“When you have players who are that dangerous, it’s never really over until it’s over,” said Sonne, whose team gave up an early power play goal by the Pats’ Alexander Suzdalev in the third period to cut the lead to 3-2 before the Blades salted it away with goals by Wiens and Watterodt.
“Before the game, they gave us the task to minimize (Bedard) and, for me, that was kind of my goal — I wasn’t focused on scoring all the goals; I wanted to shut him down to give our team the best chance to win,” said Wiens. “I thought our whole line did that, which was nice.”
Wiens scored both of his goals on the power play as Saskatoon went 2-for-3 with the man-advantage.
Regina was 0-for-4.
“The best power plays are shooting power plays,” said Sonne. “I want quantity; I don’t need fancy. I want as many as we can.”
Overall, Regina outshot Saskatoon 34-27.
Austin Elliott made 32 saves to improve his record to 8-1-0 this season.
“We got a little tight (after taking a 3-1 lead),” said Sonne. “I think it’s a great lesson come playoff time or big situation time that we can understand that we can just make our own momentum. You’re going to lose it against good hockey teams; you just make your own.”
On Saturday night, the Blades blanked the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings 5-0 before an announced crowd of 4,009 at SaskTel Centre.
“This past week, we were just sick — the whole team was just sick as a dog,” noted Sonne. “It’s definitely nice to get four point when you’re missing top players and just coughing up a lung constantly.”
Wong, Wiens, Watterodt, Egor Sidorov and captain Aidan De La Gorgendiere scored for Saskatoon as goalie Ethan Chadwick made 21 saves for the shutout win as he improved his record to 6-3-0 this season.
The Blades outshot the Oil Kings 43-21.
Saskatoon, which led 2-0 and 4-0 by periods, went 2-for-4 on the power play. Edmonton was 0-for-3.
BLADES BITS: Three stars Sunday were 1) Wiens, 2) Elliott and 3) Bedard … The Blades return to action Friday, at home, against the Medicine Hat Tigers. Game-time is 7 pm It’s their only game of the week.
Young goalies filling the void for Saskatoon Blades
Jayden Wiens supplies grit up the middle for Blades
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