Blades Down Kings
SUBMITTED BY THE BLENHEIM BLADES
Despite not playing in 17 days, as well as continuing to miss regular players (six this time), the long holiday layoff did not seem to bother the Blenheim Blades as they defeated the Dresden Kings 5-2 in Provincial Great Lakes Junior ‘C’ Hockey League Stobbs Division action before 292 fans Sunday at the Blenheim arena.
The win was the third in a row for the fourth-place Blades, who now have 38 points thanks to an 18-12-2 record. The win puts them five points up on the fifth-place Mooretown Flags, seven in front of the sixth-place Wheatley Sharks and nine up on the seventh-place Kings.
Essex ’73s leads the league with 51 points, with Lakeshore Canadiens second at 49 and Amherstburg Admirals third at 46.
The Blades will not get much rest following Sunday’s win as they travel to Wheatley Monday night to play the Sharks at 7, and then head to Wallaceburg to tangle with the Lakers Wednesday at 7:30.
Next home action will be Sunday when the Canadiens come to town for a 7 p.m. game.
Suspensions, injuries and illness, as it has for the last five weeks, continues to plague the Blades with Brayden Hopkins, Matt Clark and Owen Bateman (the Blades three overage players) all sitting out suspensions Sunday, while Brayden Seliga and Carter Wright were nursing injuries and George Wood was sick.
All six may well miss Monday’s game in Wheatley as well as Hopkins and Clark have the second of two game suspensions to six out, while Bateman has school. Wood and Wright will likely be game time decisions.
In Sunday’s win the Kings got on the board first with the league’s leading scorer Dillon Liberty netting the only goal of the first period at 17:56.
That lead didn’t last long as Kier Cumming got the Blades even with a powerplay goal at 1:20 of the second period, and then put his team up 2-1 with an unassisted tally at 5:44. Kain Hopkins and Drew Marlatt assisted on the first goal.
Cumming now has 20 goals and 26 assists on the season for a team-leading 46 points.
The two goals were the first of four in a row in the middle 20 minutes for the Blades with rookie Michael Vanek getting his first Junior goal at 10:17 and Zach Horvath his seventh at 14:34.
Marlatt and Austin Bentley assisted on the Vanek goal, while Cumming and Vanek did the same on Horvath’s score.
The Kings Geoffry VandenBoorn cut the gap 4-2 with a shorthanded goal at 15:55 before Nick Delyzer put the game away for the Blades with his 21st marker of the season at 14:37 of the third period.
On the night the Kings outshot the Blades 27-25 with Eric Stewardson making several keys saves in the Blenheim net in picking up his 14th victory of the season.
BLADES BITS: Following the game the team hosted its annual “Skate With The Blades” event…This Sunday’s game against the Canadiens will be “Kent County Fillies Night” with players wearing their team jerseys getting in for free… Members of the Chatham-Kent United Way were on hand to accepts donations and take part in an ceremonial puck drop…The Blades are currently offering deals on various clothing articles and other memorabilia that is for sale in the lobby during games…Fans are urged to remember that the Blades home game against the Kings that was postponed November 20 will be played Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7:15 p.m.