First thing that I have to say is the Saskatoon Blades are a well coached machine that are going places. I think that they are a piece or 2 from being a real legit top team for the season. They are a good team. Bravo to Lorne for making the division a very exciting one.
On to the game... Pats make 2 noticeable mistakes and bam the puck is in the net. I give zero blame for any of the goals against in this one. The Niemi pass on the shorty was a thing of beauty.
The Blades came out guns blazing and I think it caught the Pats somewhat offguard. The Pats took an early questionable major penalty in the first minute and the Blades seemed somewhat frustrated that they only potted one goal, and even though the Blades were up 3-1 I do think that PK set the Pats in the right direction.... wanting the W. Losing Strueby that early really put the monkey in the wrench.... I was actually just starting to type out the lines on my BlackBerry when bam.... major penalty. So it became a hodge podge of lines for the Pats.
When the Pats were trailing 3-1 after the second period I honestly would have been content with the loss just because of the teams effort and their never quit. People may say that the Blades laid off.... I honestly don't think they did; they kept on getting quality chances all game (except for the first 6 or 7 minutes of the third). the Pats worked just as hard as the Blades and showed that they can compete. About 4 minutes into the third I was really content with the way the game was going and I would have accepted the loss. I said that to my dad and he said "no, we're going to overtime." And voilà OT. It was probably the most exciting Pats game I've seen in many years.
Damien Ketlo is now becoming a force. He's one fine goalie and will only get better. I still can't believe some of the stops he has been making.
Jason Gardiner had by far his best game as a Pat. It seems with the more ice he gets the better he is and I was impressed by his nose for the net and not being afraid to get involved.
Colten Teubert, Cody Carlson, Brandon Davidson and Matt Delahey appear to be the teams top 4 d-men and the go to guys for the third period.Pym and Borstmayer may have seen a shift or 2 in the third but they were pretty much stapled to the bench. It makes me wonder where Bell fits into the equation when he gets healthy and health scratch Sparrow where does he fit? The teams d is improving.... they are still prone to making the odd mistake but Ketlo is becoming more and more reliable to bail the team out.
Eberle and Weal played a TON and they both were their magic selves. I do wish that both would stop being so fancy and just rip the puck. They both have great shots and both are capable of scoring a lot (in my opinion).
Hutt is finding his stride and continues to get better. He seemed to have some magic with Mitchell and Gardiner in theis game and I wonder if Hunt will keep them as a unit (for at least the first.... or until he starts changing things up).
Hricina looked a bit tentative in this one wearing the full cage after getting ran from behind in the last game. Leffler seemed a bit tired out there but seemed to be in the middle of it most of the game.
I do think if the Pats can keep this up they will be fine.
GO PATS GO!