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Blades extend series with 4-2 win in Red Deer

They’ll play Game 5 on Friday
Saskatoon Blades goaltender Ethan Chadwick stops Rebels forward Jace Isley on a breakaway attempt in the first period of Game 4 in the WHL Eastern Conference Semifinals on Wednesday at the Peavey Mart Centrium. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

The Red Deer Rebels were motivated but came up just short in a 4-2 loss to the Saskatoon Blades in Game 4.

They were poised to eliminate the Blades on home ice after taking a 3-0 series lead the night before, but a third-period rally by the Blades handed Red Deer their first loss of the series 4-2.

With the win, the Blades extend the Western Hockey League Eastern Conference semifinal for at least one more game. The two teams will head back to Saskatoon for a matchup on Friday night in Game 5.

Just minutes into Game 4 Lind took a massive blow to the head that left him what appeared to be motionless on the ice.

After roughly 10 minutes of medical staff securing Lind onto a stretcher, he was moved off the ice and gave the crowd a thumbs up.

During the game, the Rebels released a statement saying Lind was transported to Red Deer Regional Hospital. They explained he was aware and responsive, and had further testing Wednesday evening. They will provide further updates when they become available.

Rebels forward Kai Uchacz was on the ice when Lind went down.

“That’s never something you wish upon anyone, especially a teammate. I think he’s in good hands right now,” Uchacz said postgame.

Head coach Steve Konowalchuk had no further update on Lind after the game but explained it took a bit for his team to get their legs and minds back in the game

“It’s hard when you see that happen to one of your teammates. It’s always hard and then I thought they got going… We were in position there to win that game but it didn’t happen. So now we’ve just got to move forward,” Konowalchuk said.

Uchacz opened the scoring at the 6:27 mark of the first period on the powerplay. The hardworking forward buried the loose puck in front of the net after Jace Isley fired a shot on goal.

Uchacz struck again later in the frame this time picking the far side of the net as he entered the slot with speed.

However, the Blades scored a fury of unanswered goals to take the lead.

Saskatoon notched their first midway through the second period on the powerplay leaving the Rebels up just one goal heading into the final period.

Just over four minutes into the third the Blades scored back-to-back goals within 40 seconds of each other to take their first lead of the game.

At the 8:15 mark Blades sniper Tanner Molendyk walked in from the blue line and fired one into the back of the net to extend their lead 4-2.

The Rebels pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker but couldn’t buy a goal.

Konowalchuk explained the Blades played hard in the final period.

“We had some chances but we couldn’t get that third goal. That would have helped a little bit but that’s the playoffs… It’s never easy so we’ve just got to get some rest tonight, get on the road, and go get ready for battle,” he said.

Uchacz added they expected a big push from Saskatoon.

“They played a good game. They came out in the third and I think they wanted it more than us in the third,” Uchacz said. “We’re going to reset, get on the bus tomorrow, prepare like we have all series, and get back to it.”

Red Deer Rebels defenceman Mats Lindgren skates through the neutral zone against the Saskatoon Blades in Game 4 of the WHL Eastern Conference Semifinals on Wednesday at the Peavey Mart Centrium. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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