DRESDEN – The Blenheim Blades are struggling at the moment, and
have seen their solid hold on third place in the Provincial Junior
Hockey League’s Stobbs Division slip away since the first of the year.
Friday the Blades, after coming back to tie the Dresden Kings 5-5 late
in the third period in Dresden, ended up losing in overtime for the
fourth time on the road this season when Breck Rainey completed his
hat trick when he scored with just 1:02 gone in seven-minute extra
The Blades did pick up a point to increase their fourth-place total to
36, four behind the third-place Wheatley Sharks, who visit the
Blenheim Memorial Arena Sunday at 7 p.m., and five ahead of the
fifth-place Mooretown Flags, who lost 4-1 to the Lakeshore Canadiens
As mentioned, OT on the road had not been kind to the Blades this
season, who also lost twice to the Sharks in Wheatley, and once to
Lakeshore in Belle River.
The club has one home OT victory, 6-5 over the Wallaceburg
Thunderhawks December 18.
Ryan Sanders open the scoring at 15:05 of the first period with his
first goal of the year, with Ben Brooks assisting. The tally came on a
Ben Robertson evened things for the Kings at 1:54 of the second
period, with former Blenheim resident Seth Merritt assisting.
The 1-1 tie lasted until Blades defenceman Brad McAlpine put his
club up 2-1 with an unassisted goal at 11:57. It was his seventh score
of the season.
Rainey then scored his first of three at 13:41 of the middle 20
minutes to tie things at 2-2. The goal came on a Kings powerplay.
The 2-2 score only lasted 16 seconds before Blenheim’s leading
point-getter Tate Bowden netted his 16th, with assists going to Darby
Lemieux and Zach Van Boxtel.
At the three-minute mark of the third period Merritt tied things,
before Rainey netted his second of the game at 9:13 to put the Kings
Connor Roth then forced the overtime with his eighth of the season
at 16:35 to force OT, with assists going to Sam Warriner and Austin
Ty Golden was outstanding between the pipes for Dresden as he
stopped 56 of 61 Blenheim shots while his teammate managed just 28
on Blenheim netminder Jake Vancoillie.
BLADES BITS: Not dressed for Blenheim were injured defencemen
Craig Spence and Noah Prudhomme and forward Ian Campbell…Also
injured, and not dressed was netminder Owen Lemieux…AP goalie
Daniel Rodger backed up Vancoillie…Blenheim’s Abby Stonehouse,
who with her Team Canada teammates, won a gold medal last Sunday
in Sweden at the 2023 IIHF Women’s Under 18 World Hockey
Tournament, will be on hand this Sunday to drop a ceremonial puck
prior to the game…The Blenheim Blades Alumni Association will be
hosting their first “Steak Night” since 2019 because of the Covid
pandemic on Monday, Jan. 30 at the Blenheim Legion…Tickets are $20
each, and are available at Blades home games through Jan. 29…
Sunday will be Chatham Crush Minor Hockey Night with all Crush
players wearing their jerseys being admitted for free…