Blades lose to Flyers 4-1; playoff spot still undecided
PETROLIA – The Blenheim Blades regular 40-game season has just one game left – Sunday at 7 p.m. against the Essex ’73s at the Blenheim arena – and the team still does not know if they will finish seventh or eighth, or who they will meet in the upcoming playoffs.
Thursday night they were in Petrolia and dropped a 4-1 game to the sixth-place Flyers leaving the Blades with 27 points (11-23-2-3), two up on the eighth-place Dresden Kings.
Dresden, currently with 26 points, has two games left – Friday at home against the Wheatley Sharks and Saturday in Wallaceburg against the Thunderhawks. If they win both they will be seventh and play the second-place Mooretown Flags.
If Dresden wins one game the Blades will need to beat Essex for seventh, if not the Blades will be eighth and meet the first-place Lakeshore Canadiens.
Should Blenheim and Dresden tie in points for seventh the Kings will get seventh and the Blades eighth as the first tie-breaker is total wins and the next one being the record between the two teams in their five meetings. Dresden has beaten Blenheim in three of the five games played between the two teams.
As far as the upcoming best-of-seven Provincial Junior Hockey League Stobbs Division quarter-finals are concerned the Blades already have dates for either games against Lakeshore or Mooretown.
If it is Lakeshore the Blades will open next Tuesday in Lakeshore, with Game 2 in Blenheim Thursday at 7. Game 3 will be in Lakeshore next Friday, with Game 4 back in Blenheim a week from Sunday.
For Mooretown Game 1 will be on the road next Wednesday, with Game 2 in Blenheim Thursday, Game 3 back in Mooretown a week from Saturday and Game 4 in Blenheim Sunday, Feb. 16.
Thursday night Matt Hunt opened the scoring for the Flyers late in the first period, with Seth Henderson tying things at 1-1 at 14:50 of the middle 20 minutes.
The goal was the 18th of the season for Henderson, and was assisted by Christian Moccia and Malcolm Campbell.
Curtis Helps scored a powerplay tally at 17:14 of the period to make it 2-1 Petrolia, and put the Flyers in the lead for good.
Brendan Bouvier then scored his first of two third-period markers at 4:45 of the final frame, with his second coming at 17:17 on a powerplay to increase the Petrolia lead to 4-1.
BLADES BITS: Since Jan. 1 the Blades are 2-7-1-0 and have scored just 25 goals, with 11 of them coming in one game…Blenheim outshot Petrolia 32-30, and took 46 of 80 penalty minutes…Alex Cunningham and Noah Tetrault were both ejected for second-period fights…The Blades have being given 924 minutes in penalties to date; second highest in the league to Essex’s 1,017…Caleb Pinsonneault was in goal for the Blades…Carter Wright, Jaxon Boucher and Sam McKinlay did not dress…Wright was sitting out the first of a two-game suspension he picked up for a second abuse of an official call Wednesday night in the Mooretown game, while Boucher and McKinlay were sidelined with injuries…Attendance was 300.