Buoyed by solid goaltending and a defense-first approach, the Saskatoon Blades head on the road with a bit of confidence.
The Blades open up a five-game road trip in B.C with a stop in Kelowna after taking five of a possible six points in last week’s homestand. Over four nights the Blades beat Prince Albert 2-0, Portland 3-1 and lost 3-2 in overtime to Edmonton. Heading into the week Saskatoon ranks 3rd in the league for lowest goals against through their first seven games.
“I like coach’s tactics and we just need to keep doing what we’re doing,” said Blades defenseman Libor Hajek.
So far, the well deserved praise for the Blades has fallen on the shoulders of Logan Flodell. The 19-year-old goalie stopped 65 of the 66 shots in the wins over Prince Albert and Portland, capturing WHL and CHL goalie of the week awards in the process.
“I didn’t even know about the WHL award until my agent texted me and then just found out about the CHL one on the ice today (Tuesday),” Flodell said, the first Blades goalie to win the award since Buffalo Sabres netminder Andrey Makarov in 2013.
The Regina native is quick to deflect the praise onto his team. Flodell hopes the Blades are creating an identity around the league as a group that is tough to score on.
“We have a really young core in our defense and it’s amazing how well they are playing in front of me,” Flodell said.
“This is a good group, no negativity and we all get along and that has paid off on the ice.”
— Saskatoon Blades (@BladesHockey) October 13, 2016
It’s good the players all get along, because they will be spending a lot of time together. The Blades play five games on the B.C swing that won’t wrap up until Oct. 22 in Prince George.
“There’s a lot of good teams out there, Prince George is undefeated right now but we have to get through Kelowna first and that is what we’re thinking about,” said Flodell.
Carrying a 4-2-1 record into the road trip, the Blades will hope to take a couple wins out west to keep hold of the top wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. They return to Saskatoon on Oct. 26 against Spokane.