Blades Drop Fourth Straight
Blades lose fourth in a row; fall to 73’s 7-2
SUBMITTED BY THE BLENHEIM BLADES
And the struggles continue.
The Blenheim Blades, once the hottest team in the Provincial Junior Hockey League’s Stobbs Division, are more like the weather now – very cold.
Sunday night at the Blenheim arena the Blades lost for the second time in two nights, and fourth time in their last four games, as they were beaten 7-2 by the league-leading Essex 73’s before 332 fans.
The Blades, who now sit fourth in the nine-team loop, have not won in three weeks, and have been outscored 24-12 in the four games while watching their record fall to 15-12-2. The four-game losing streak is the second such streak of the season for the Blades who also had a seven-game winning streak.
In the meantime Essex, Amherstburg Admirals and Lakeshore Canadiens have all been red hot with Essex now sitting at 45 points, Amherstburg 42 and Lakeshore 41, while the Blades are stalled at 32, just three up on the fifth place Mooretown Flags who can cut the margin to one with a win over the Wheatley Sharks Monday night in Wheatley.
The Blades will look to right the ship Wednesday when they travel to Wallaceburg to play the last-place Lakers at 7:30 p.m. before returning home Thursday to tangle with the Sharks at 7:15 p.m.
In Sunday’s loss the 73’s came out flying and scored three times on Blades netminder Eric Stewardson by the 12:53 mark. Michael Vieira at 2:22, William Stadder at 11:05 and Eric Shaw at 12:53 had the goals.
Stewardson was injured during the play that saw Shaw score and was replaced by Adam Craven who almost immediately gave up goal #4 to Stadder at 14:48.
The Blades finally got on the board at 1:09 of the second period when Kier Cumming scored his 16th of the year. The tally came on a powerplay with assists going to Brayden Hopkins and Matt Clark.
Just a little less than a minute and a half later Shaw netted his second of the night at 2:31, with Dallas Pereria making it 6-1 at 10:10.
Cumming scored again just 27 seconds after the Pereria goal, assisted by Kain Hopkins and Clark. The point was the first for Hopkins since joining the Blades last week from the Yeck Division Port Stanley Sailors.
There were no more goals in the second period with Stadder getting his third of the night early in the final 20 minutes to wrap up the scoring.
The first period letdown, where the Blades were outshot 12-3 and outscored 4-0, proved to be the difference as the rest of the game was pretty close with just three goals scored and the Blades outshooting the 73’s 18-16.
BLADES BITS: Once again the Blades were short four key guys – Zach Horvath, Owen Bateman (suspension), Austin Bentley (suspension) and Brayden Seliga (upper body injury)…Shortage of key players has been a common theme since the first of the month because of injuries, suspensions and university and college exams…The annual “Skate With the Blades” that was scheduled for Dec. 11 after the game against the Sharks that was postponed because of a snow storm will now take place Sunday, Jan. 8 after the contest against the Dresden Kings…The Jan. 8 game will also be Chatham-Kent Cyclones night with any Cyclone player coming to the game wearing their jersey getting in for free.