The glass is half full for the Saskatoon Blades, who earn a point in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Everett Silvertips on Wednesday night.
That closes out a 14 game stretch where the Blades played at home 13 times, going 8-4-0-1 over that time.
“Obviously you want two but that’s one more point that we got,” said Blades forward Markson Bechtold, who was making his return from an 18-game absence with a back injury.
“Felt a little behind the pace but felt great to be out there and keep making steps.”
Kirby Dach opened the scoring for Saskatoon, with the barely 16-year-old tipping in a Bryton Sayers shot in the first period.
A goaltending duel between the Blades Brock Hamm and Everett’s Carter Hart kept the score tight. The Silvertips scored their lone goal midway through the second period.
Neither team gave up an inch in their own zone, with Everett applying the defensive structure that has them leading the U.S Division, and Hart among the best goalies in the WHL.
“They smother you and don’t give a lot of room,” said Blades head coach Dean Brockman.
That stalemate led to a three-on-three overtime where neither side was able to get anything going, setting up the shootout.
Jesse Shynkaruk scored on the Blades’ first shot in the shootout, but would be the only one for Saskatoon.
Everett scored on their second attempt and in the fourth round, Riley Sutter put his shot off the shoulder of Brock Hamm, barely crossing the line for the win.
“They’re a team that you can’t make many mistakes on,” said Saskatoon goalie Brock Hamm.
“I made one more mistake than he did and that was the difference.”
Hart, the Silvertips goalie, made 30 saves to earn the game’s first star. It was the lone trip to Saskatoon for Canada’s World Junior goalie.
After a long stretch at home, the Blades enter a three-game in three-night stretch that begins Friday in Cranbrook against the Kootenay Ice. The Blades visit Lethbridge on Saturday and Calgary on Sunday. Saskatoon leads the Hitmen by three points for the final playoff spot.