The Blades continued their winning ways against the Gladiators, extending their streak to 5 games.
(The Blades Express is starting to really roll!)
Friday's game was a lot tamer than Saturday's, that didn't make it any less of a nail biter though (The game sheet is here). The Glads opened up the scoring 24 seconds into the first period. The Blades were able to answer back with a goal by captain Ross Carlson. No one was able to break the tie until the second period when Colin Nicholson and Chris Capraro gave the Blades a two goal lead. A third period onslaught by the Gladiators allowed them to slip one by Barry Brust, narrowing the Blades lead to one goal. At the 19:40 mark Ernie Hartlieb mixed it up with a player from the Gladiators, and they were both sent off the ice. The game came down to the wire, but the Blades managed to come out on top 3-2.
Saturdays game was much more physical (game sheet here). The first period was relatively quiet with no one scoring. During the second period the Blades exploded scoring four goals in the second period. Ross Carlson, Mike Bayrack, and Milan Gajic all scored, with Bayrack notching two of the four goals.Goalie Barry Brust had his shut-out ruined by the Gladiators lone tally in the second. Benn Olson traded punches with one of the Gladiators late in the second. This clearly gave the Blades the energy they needed to overcome the Gladiators as two of the Second periods goals were scored after the fight. Brandon Buck was able to score the only goal of the third with an amazing buzzerbeater that is officially listed as having happened at the 19:59 mark.
It looks like the Blades have found whatever it was they were missing. They have been playing some really great hockey lately and the streak has allowed the Blades to tie the Walleye for third place in the American Conference. Next week the Trenton Devils come to town for a three game series. The Blades finished up their roadtrip by sweeping their series with the Trenton, with the Devils coming to town maybe the Blades can gain some space in the standings heading into the last half of the season.