Shorthanded Blades fall to Sharks, but put up a huge fight

WHEATLEY – The fourth-place Blenheim Blades, missing nine regular
skaters, gave the third-place Wheatley Sharks all they could handle
Wednesday night in Wheatley before ending up on the short end of a
2-1 score in PJHL Stobbs Division action.
Not dressed for the Blades were leading goal-scorer and point-getter
Tate Bowden, and Zach Van Boxtel, both sitting out a one-game
suspension, Connor Wright, sitting out his first of two one-game
suspensions, defenceman Craig Spence, not available, Alex Edwards
and Alec Webster, both injured, Ayden McKinlay, an exam, and Sam
Warriner and Daniel Norton, high school basketball playoff games.
In the lineup from the Chatham AA Cobras were Macguire Graham
and Warren Everitt.
The loss pretty well clinched a third-place finish for the Sharks who
as now six points up on the Blades with four games to play, while the
Blades have just three games left, with the next being Sunday at
home against the Dresden Kings at 7 p.m.
In other action Wednesday night the fifth-place Mooretown Flags
blasted the Wallaceburg Thunderhawks 7-1 to move to within seven
points of the Blades.
Mooretown has six games left to play including March 1 at home
against Blenheim.
Wheatley’s Denzel Aquilia opened the scoring for the Sharks at
10:04 of the first period, and after the Blades has a goal called back
early in the second period when a referee ruled the puck was kicked
into the net.
Blake McNally then made it 2-0 Sharks at 5:09 of the frame.

The score stayed at 2-0 until the Blades got a nine-minute
powerplay early in the third period when Wheatley’s Devin St. Pierre
jumped the Blades Noah Prudhomme and picked up a five-minute
major penalty and two minors while Prudhomme got nothing.
On the powerplay Evan Wells netted the Blades lone goal, his sixth
of the year, from Ethan Waddick and Brad McAlpine.
That was a close at the Blades could get.
At 18:40 Wheatley’s Sylvian Lessard was given a five-minute major
penalty for kicking the Blades Darby Lemieux. Both players were also
assessed two-minute cross checking minors.

BLADES BITS: Jake Vancoillie was once again outstanding between
the pipes for the Blades stopping 45 of 47 Wheatley shots, while his
teammates fired 31 at Sharks goalie Ethan Handley…Five of the Blades
last seven games have ended in 2-1 scores with Blenheim winning
three of them…On the season the teams each won three of the six
games played with two of Wheatley’s wins coming in
overtime…Blenheim outscored Wheatley 14-12 in those
games……Attendance was 264.