By Donovan Remenda
A sluggish second period was too large of an obstacle to overcome for the Saskatoon Blades in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Calgary Hitmen Wednesday at Sasktel Centre.
For the third time in four home games, Saskatoon dug itself in a hole and treated fans with another comeback attempt to extend the game. This time, the overtime heroics went in the visitor’s favour.
“Give our guys a little bit of credit in terms of fighting back in the third period and getting us an important point,” Blades head coach Mitch Love said following the loss.
“But at the end of the day, I’m not even sure we deserved that.”
A quick start earned the Blades a 2-0 lead just five minutes into the game thanks to goals from Krsitian Roykas-Matrthinsen and Dawson Davidson.
From there, Saskatoon’s attack began to fade away. A Hitmen goal, with less than a minute left, sparked the team looking for its second win of the season.
Calgary continued attacking in the second as goals by Carson Focht and Riley Fiddler-Schultz, just 43 seconds apart, gave the Hitmen a 3-2 lead entering the intermission.
Another Hitmen goal 57 seconds into the third extended Calgary’s lead as the Blades organized a comeback.
After a Josh Paterson goal, it was Brandon Schuldhaus tying the game, with his first goal as a Saskatoon Blade, with just over 90 seconds remaining in the third.
In the end, the night would belong to Calgary as Hitmen rookie Josh Prokop, scored his second of the game on a polished backhand finish for the overtime winner.
Davidson appreciates the resiliency from his team in the comeback games but wishes it wasn’t always necessary.
“You can’t do that every night,” he said.
“We’ve done a good job of it so far this season, but I feel like we’ve been chasing too many games so far early in the year, and we get up two-to-nothing like that early.”
“We need to start burying teams and not letting them back in the game.”
Calgary improved to 2-6-2 on the year with the win and will look to keep the momentum going when the team plays next against Moose Jaw.
Saskatoon falls to 7-3-1 and, will look to rebound with a win at home when the Blades take on the Spokane Chiefs Friday night at Sasktel Centre.