December 5, 2018 1:54 pm

Saskatoon Blades happy with B.C. road trip but look for improvement

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The Saskatoon Blades are preparing for their final six games before the Christmas break after returning home from a productive five-game road trip to B.C.

Saskatoon posted a 3-1-1 record, earning seven of a possible 10 points on their longest road trip of the season.

They picked up wins in Prince George, Victoria and Kelowna, had a regulation loss in Vancouver, and an overtime loss in Kamloops.

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READ MORE: Saskatoon Blades win 5-4 in overtime against Kelowna Rockets

The Blades were in position to beat the Blazers, but gave up a two-goal lead, something they also did against the Giants and Rockets with mixed results.

Blades head coach Mitch Love is happy with how the trip went, but would like to see the team do a better job of putting opponents away.

“At the beginning of the year, we were winning games where we had to scramble back to get points,” Love said.

“Now, we’re establishing leads and almost giving those up, so we have to find a balance.”

READ MORE: Saskatoon Blades down Victoria Royals in close game

Forward Gary Haden said although they are happy with their recent performance, they could be better.

“We were playing good hockey, but there is still room for improvement,” Haden said.

“If we shore up a few areas, we could really string together a long win streak.”

The Blades will look to continue their winning ways on Friday at home when they take on the Moose Jaw Warriors.

The Blades are currently in second place in the East Division with 37 points; three ahead of the Warriors, but Moose Jaw has played four fewer games.

READ MORE: Vancouver Giants score 4 unanswered goals in win over Saskatoon Blades

Forward Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen will not be around for the team’s next six games.

He will be representing Norway in the 2019 IIHF World Junior Division I Championships, one of six teams competing for a berth in the top division.

Roykas-Marthinsen has eight goals and seven assists in 29 games for the Blades this season, including six points in his last seven games.

He is expected back in the lineup when the Blades return from the Christmas break on Dec. 27.

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