Blades Win Fourth Straight
SUBMITTED BY THE BLENHEIM BLADES
Blades hold on for fourth win in a row, nip Sharks 5-4
WHEATLEY – Whew, that was a stroke maker.
Blenheim Blades, up 5-0 by the 10:35 mark of the second period, saw the Wheatley Sharks score four goals on four shots from 13:21 to 17:19 of the frame, but righted the ship to win their fourth in a row by hanging on for a 5-4 victory at the Wheatley arena Monday night.
The win gives the Blades a solid hold on fourth place in the Provincial Junior Hockey League’s Stodds Division at 40 points, seven up on the fifth-place Mooretown Flags and nine ahead of the sixth-place Dresden Kings, while the seventh-place Sharks are now 11 behind Blenheim.
A win Wednesday night, when the Blades travel to Wallaceburg to play the last-place Lakers at 7:30, would eliminate both Dresden and Wheatley from the race for fourth.
The Blades have seven games to play, Mooretown seven, Dresden five and the Sharks six.
With the Blades now having won four straight, including Sunday’s 5-2 home victory over the Kings, the club has climbed back into a position to catch the third-place Amherstburg Admirals who have 46 points with five games left.
In Monday’s win the Blades built up a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes, and made it 5-0 when Dustin Maines scored his 10th goal of the year at 10:35 of the second period with assists going to Michael Vanek and Kier Cumming.
The first period goals came from Nick Delyzer, with a pair, George Wood and Cumming. Delyzer now has 23 on the season, Cumming 21 and Wood four. Assists on the goals went to Austin Bentley with two, Nate Broek, John Montgomery, Vanek, Drew Marlatt, Kain Hopkins and Cumming.
The Sharks started their comeback when Jack Leafeve scored at 13:21 of the middle 20 minutes.
Alixe Saliba’s goal exactly a minute later made it 5-2, with Eric Prudence cutting the Blenheim lead to 5-3 with a powerplay goal at 15:15.
Wheatley then made it a one-goal game when Justin Pinsonneault scored at 17:19, but that was a close as the Sharks could get.
The teams played an even third period with Blenheim getting seven shots and Wheatley six. On the night the Sharks outshot the Blades 34-29.
BLADES BITS: The Blades were once again short six skaters…Brayden Hopkins and Matt Clark were sitting out the second night of their two game suspensions, while Zach Horvath and Owen Bateman had school commitments and Brayden Seliga and Carter Wright remain injured…For the second night in a row the Blades inserted affiliate players Seth Henderson and Nick Tetreault into the lineup…The game was a tame affair with each team taking a pair of minor penalties…This Sunday’s game against the Canadiens will be “Kent County Fillies Night” with players wearing their team jerseys getting in for free…Fans are urged to remember that the Blades home game against the Kings that was postponed November 20 will be played Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7:15 p.m.