Ice 6, Blades 3
If Brennan Sonne had his way, the Saskatoon Blades would have finished a two-game set with the Winnipeg Ice on Friday.
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“I wish we could have kept going,” said the Blades head coach, whose team meets the Ice once again Saturday night, at 7 p.m., at SaskTel Centre.
“Let’s go. Let’s go. We’re ready to rock.”
On Friday, the Blades dropped a 6-3 decision to the visiting Ice before a crowd announced at 3,0003.
The score wasn’t indicative of the effort.
Even if the result certainly wasn’t there, Sonne believed the performance level was up to standard against the No. 1-ranked Canadian Hockey League team.
“We played out really hard,” said Sonne. “Winnipeg’s a one-mistake team. You make one little mistake — you’re out of position by five feet here, you miss one assignment there — and they’re really dangerous so you’re never going to play a perfect hockey game, structurally, because it’s just so fast. But that’s kind of what happened tonight. We missed a play here; we missed a thing there and it ended up in our net. But, overall, honestly, I thought we played really hard. I thought there were chunks in the game where we had a ton of momentum.
‘Save for those little structural gaffes or whatever, I was pretty happy with the game.”
Conner Roulette, Josh Pillar and Justin Lies scored for Saskatoon, which went 2-for-6 on the power play.
Graham Sward, Conor Geekie, Ben Zloty, Ty Nash, Owen Pederson and Vladislav Shilo scored for Winnipeg, which was 2-for-4 with the man-advantage and led 1-0 and 3-1 by periods.
“We hadn’t seen Winnipeg yet and they’re ranked No. 1 in the country, so you’re excited for the challenge and I thought we brought the passion and compete, and all the stuff,” said Sonne. “It was just a couple of little things ended up in our net.”
Austin Elliott made 14 saves in the loss.
Daniel Hauser made 30 stops to improve his record this season to a perfect 16-0.
“I thought we were pretty consistently (going) hard the entire night — I really do,” added Sonne. “I just think we’ve got to tighten up a few areas. I wouldn’t get down on this. We’ve had one game in two weeks, so you’re not going to be 100 per cent crisp and all that stuff. The result is one thing — and obviously it’s a results-based business — but when you just focus purely on results and not performance, then you’re a rollercoaster. We’re very focused on performance in this dressing room and, honestly, I thought out performance was pretty solid. I thought that was one of the hardest-working games we’ve played recently.”