SASKATOON — Saskatoon Blades defenceman Tanner Molendyk impressed at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game before returning to his squad and helping it go 1-1 on the road last weekend.
In Langley, B.C., Molendyk recorded an assist to help Team White beat Team Red, 4-2. The strong-skating blueliner also had a shot on goal and ended up plus-one. He was also part of a squad that held Regina Pats forward Connor Bedard, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, to zero points. Bedard had an impact in other ways with six shots on goal, going nine-for-11 on the faceoffs, recording two hits, and making an impressive pass between his legs. In the NHL Central Scouting mid-term rankings, Molendyk was rated at No. 36. The CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game brings together the best players from Canada’s major junior hockey league who are eligible for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.
Last Saturday, Egor Sidorov lit the lamp in overtime to lift the Blades to a 3-2 overtime victory against the host Calgary Hitmen. The win improved Saskatoon’s record to 29-11-3-1.
Sidorov has scored in seven of his last eight contest – racking up eight goals during that stretch. He is eighth in the Western Hockey League and leads the Blades with 27 goals.
Carter Yakemchuk staked Calgary to a 1-0 first period lead. The Blades went ahead in the second thanks to goals by Brandon Lisowsky and Jake Chiasson. In the third, Yakemchuk’s second of the night sent the game to overtime.
Saskatoon goalie Austin Elliott finished with 24 saves. Ethan Buenaventura made 42 stops for Calgary.
The contest was held at the Tsuut'ina Seven Chiefs Sportsplex. While the Hitmen play most of their games at the Scotiabank Saddledome, the Sportsplex serves as a second home and they are slated to play six there this season.
Last Friday night, the Saskatoon squad lost 5-1 on the road to the Red Deer Rebels, Sidorov scored the Blades’ lone goal. Ethan Chadwick started in net and made 16 saves on 20 shots. He was relieved in the second period by Elliott, who made six saves on seven shots.
Kai Uchacz scored twice for Red Deer. Also scoring for the Rebels were Kalan Lind, Ben King, and Dwayne Jean Jr. Kyle Kelsey had 34 saves.
The Blades wrap up a five-game road stretch with games Tuesday in Brandon and Wednesday in Winnipeg. On the weekend, the team is back in Saskatoon to host the Winnipeg Ice on Saturday and the Brandon Wheat Kings on Sunday.