GAME 1 RECAP | Keller cashes in on powerplay, Blades fall 5-1 in season opener
Regina, SK – Jordan Keller scored the Saskatoon Blades first goal of the year but it wasn’t enough as they fell 5-1 at the Brandt Centre Saturday vs the Regina Pats.
It was the Blades opening game of the 2023/24 season while the Pats improve to 2-0-0-0 after winning 7-6 the night before in Brandon vs the Wheat Kings. The score doesn’t do the Blades justice as they outshot the Pats 30-18 but were just inches away from burying several chances.
Blades forwards Hudson Kibblewhite and William James, along with defencemen Fraser Leonard and Samuel Barcik took hockey’s traditional rookie lap ahead of warmups for their first career WHL game. Lake Country, BC netminder Evan Gardner also took a lap as he started his first ever game between the pipes in the league.
Newly named Regina captain Tanner Howe opened the scoring 4:54 into the first period with a one-timer on the powerplay. The Prince Albert, SK product is the second youngest captain in Pats history at 17-years-old, only older than last season’s captain Connor Bedard.
The Blades were awarded their first powerplay of the season just over halfway through the opening frame and didn’t take long to bury the puck. Blades sophomore Jordan Keller mirrored Howe with a one-timer of his own scoring the Blades first goal of the 2023/24 campaign. The 5-foot-11 forward looks to build off an impressive rookie season last year with the Blue and Gold when he potted 13 goals and 30 point in 66 games. Keller’s role may be increased due to sniper Egor Sidorov being away at Anaheim Ducks training camp, and he’s running with it so far. Forward Brandon Lisowsky and defenceman Charlie Wright returned from their respective NHL camps this week, and both assisted on the goal making it 1-1 at intermission.
Keller's added a nice one-timer to his arsenal over the summer pic.twitter.com/POZqtB4Zvf
— Saskatoon Blades (@BladesHockey) September 24, 2023
Regina forward Brayden Barnett scored the only two goals in the second period giving his club a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.
6-foot-2 winger Borya Valis cushioned the Pats lead 4-1 with just over six minutes left in the third period. Saskatoon sent out the extra attacker with almost five minutes left on the clock but Palmer, AK’s own Braxton Whitehead iced the game scoring his second of the season into the open cage.
The Blades welcome the Prince Albert Raiders to SaskTel Centre Sunday, Sept. 24th for their home opener powered by Merlin Ford Lincoln.
Our pregame party kicks off at 1:00pm with a bouncy castle from Apollo Jump and face painting by Kreative Mum. Jam to some live music from Saul the Singer before our players hit the red carpet at 1:30pm.
Puck drop is at 4:00pm and stick around after the game for a postgame autograph session with the whole team!
Purchase tickets HERE