The Saskatoon Blades were able to outlast the Regina Pats on Sunday afternoon and squeak out a shootout victory by a final score of 2-1 at SaskTel Centre.
The win puts Saskatoon up four points on Prince Albert for possession of the final playoff spot in the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Eastern Conference.
Regina remains atop of the wild card standings, gaining a single point in the shootout loss.
Nolan Maier was sensational for the home side, stopping 38 shots and keeping the Pats from opening the flood gates for most of the game.
Regina head coach John Paddock gave credit to the 17-year-old.
“He’s played real well against us all year,” he said.
“He was sharp. He’s a really good young goalie.”
Even though both teams were playing their third game in as many days, they kept their feet moving for much of the first period and set a nice pace to the game.
Logan Christensen would convert on the power play for the Blades and send them into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead.
The rivalry between the teams came alive in the second period, with the sound of bodies hitting the boards thundering throughout the rink.
Regina would dominate the five-on-five play and kept the Blades on their heels for much of the second.
But Maier and Pats goalie Max Paddock, who finished the game with 28 saves of his own, were sharp and kept the period scoreless.
In the third period the Pats momentum would continue as Matt Bradley’s slap shot from the point would blast through Maier and tie the game at one.
A back and forth overtime found no solution to the tie break and the game would be sent to a shootout.
In the seventh round of the shootout Michael Farren would go top shelf over Paddock for the game winner and give the Blades the much needed two points.
After the game Farren said he knew exactly where he was going to go before he stepped out onto the ice.
“I thought I would suck him over and go high blocker,” he said.
“I think I closed my eyes and took a shot. Luckily it went in.”
The next time these two teams meet will be on Feb 23 where Regina will visit Saskatoon once again.