The Saskatoon Blades have been a force of nature as they flattened the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Conference for the past month.
Saturday, the Moose Jaw Warriors never weathered the storm early as the Blades cruised to a 7-1 win at Mosaic Place.
Saskatoon took the first 12 shots of the game and scored the first six goals as they routed the Warriors.
“We stressed coming out hard and we didn’t do that. We spent way too much time in our end,” said Warriors captain Kendall McFaull. “To not get a shot in the first 10 minutes of the game, we can’t be having that.”
Dalton Thrower, Darren Dietz and Matt Revel each had a goal and an assist for the Blades.
Matej Stransky, Brenden Walker, Nick Zajac and Collin Valcourt had the other Blades (38-21-0-3) goals as they extended their franchise record winning streak to 15 games.
“It’s huge to come out playing really hard from the start, maybe establish a lead, and then take it from there,” said Dietz who scored his 20th goal of the season Saturday.
The two teams have met four times in the last three weeks, so there was no mystery as to what was coming.
“We definitely have to show up to play. They’re a good team and they show up every night. If you take a night off, that’s what is going to happen,” said McFaull.
The Blades special teams helped make the game as comfortable as it was. They finished 3-for-5 on the power play and killed off nine of the Warriors’ 10 power play chances.
“We knew there was going to be some bad blood and that the tension would be high, but we wanted to stay disciplined and focus on playing hockey,” said Dietz.
Tanner Eberle spoiled the shutout on a power play late in the second period for the Warriors (21-32-3-6).
Andrey Makarov made 30 saves for the Blades.
Justin Paulic stopped 40 shots for the Warriors.