Ahead of a big turkey dinner, the Saskatoon Blades are thankful for having two talented rookie goalies at their disposal.
The tandem of Joel Gryzbowski (18) and Nolan Maier (16) will share the net for the interim, while Ryan Kubic is day to day with an upper-body injury. Neither has started a WHL game.
It’s expected that Gryzbowski will get the start Friday night when the Blades host Swift Current. The native of Hafford, Sask. made the final roster out of training camp. He also has more junior experience playing in the SJHL for the Battlefords North Stars in 2016-17.
But Maier may also get a chance to make his first WHL start. Saskatoon is in Regina Saturday to face the Pats.
No matter who is in goal for the Blades, the team will be hoping to offer a bit more help in their own end. Saskatoon has given up 15 goals in just three games and starter Kubic carries a .826 save percentage as a result.
“For some the first instinct when you see that is to blame the goalie,” said Blades assistant coach Ryan Keller. “But we’re turning pucks over and (Kubic) sees three pucks in twenty minutes and two are breakaways and the other a pass in the slot.”
And with a pair of rookies holding the fort this weekend, it’s an added incentive to take care of the defensive zone.
“Giving up those grade-A chances are not the games we want to be playing so we want to limit those.”
The Blades host Swift Current Friday night at SaskTel Centre. Puck drop is 7:05.