It's no secret that the Blades have had a rough year. As they enter into the last few weeks of the regular season every single point counts if they're going to make it into the playoffs. The team that showed up last night proved that maybe, just maybe, they finally realized that.
Aside from a loan tally, a power play goal from Mike Ratchuck (assists to McNicoll and Quick), the first period was rather uneventful. The period ended with the Blades up 1-0.
The Blades made it 2-0 around eight minutes into the second with a second power play goal from Ryan Galiardi (assists to McNicoll and Quick). About four minutes later, Trevor Bruess made it 3-0 (assists to Roy and Fischer). The K-Wings ended golden goalie Pat Nagle's shut-out in the closing minutes of the period to make it 3-1.
It didn't matter though. Minutes after a power play that had carried over from the second ended, David Rutherford made it 4-1 (assist to Galiardi). The K-Wings responded with two goals, one of which was shorthanded, over five minutes to make it 4-3.
That's when something happened that I can't really recall happening too much throughout the rest of the season.
The Blades sucked it up and decided to win the game. Honestly, the feeling of "hell no, we are not losing this" was palpable. Rutherford made it 5-3 30 seconds later on the power play (assists to Beca and Piché). About 20 seconds after that, Brayden Irwin made it 6-3 (assists to Fischer and Pitt). Galiardi netted his second of the night about two minutes after that goal (assists to Pitt and Irwin) to make it 7-3.
The K-Wings finally decided to pull ECHL goaltender of the month Riley Gill after that. That tactic worked for a while and the K-Wings put on tons of pressure. Too bad for them Ratchuck decided he wanted a second goal too. He made it 8-3 at 18:18 completely unassisted. Not to be outdone, Galiardi made it 9-3 about 20 seconds later to earn his hat trick (assists to Irwin and Pitt) and make it 9-3.
SOG were pretty even at 39-40 with the Blades getting the very slight edge.
It was a great game. A really great game.
- What is about the Blades that makes them show up against goalies the ECHL has given a weekly or monthly award to? Can the league just pass out weekly honors to whomever the Guys are playing against that week?
- 3/6 on the power play. Awesome.
- I could have lived without giving up a shorthanded goal.
- The penalty killing was pretty great, I wish there hadn't been so many 5 on 3 kills though.
- Bobby Raymond: +6. Forgive me while I pat myself on the back for my excellent taste in defensemen.
- On the other hand, I'm just shaking my head at the players who managed to be a -2 in a 9-3 game.
- Great game from Pat Nagle. He looks much more confident and bounced back after the K-Wings goal. I guess he could have done a bit better on the short-handed goal, but I'm not going to complain about a goalie who stopped 36 of 39 shots.
-Sweet Mother Mary those Pink in the Rink jerseys were terrible.
The Blades play the K-Wings again tonight. I'm hoping they can keep up the energy they had last night. The K-Wings are not going to go down without a fight. Also, it's the second night of Pink in the Rink. It sounded like a lot of the tickets have been bought up. It should be a good showing.