James C Black
2013 Memorial Cup: Saskatoon Blades ride robotic approach, rabid crowd to surprise win over Halifax MooseheadsSunaya Sapurji at Yahoo! Sports11 mths ago
SASKATOON — In a game full of emotion the Saskatoon Blades took a different approach in their game against the Halifax Mooseheads at the MasterCard Memorial Cup.
“One of our mottos in this tournament is to play like robots whistle to whistle,” said Blades forward Josh Nicholls.
The idea is to keep an even keel – regardless of the opponent -- and disregard the many momentum swings faced during a game.
The game plan worked as the Blades skated to a stunning 5-2 victory over the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champions. For the first 50 minutes of the game, the Blades kept Halifax’s high-powered offense – lead by the top line of Jonathan Drouin, Nathan MacKinnon, and Martin Frk -- in check. They were physical and made life in the crease difficult for Mooseheads goalie Zach Fucale.
“We were wearing them down,” said Nicholls, a New York Rangers prospect. “You could see their frustration. They were starting to come at us after the whistles and stuff like that. They have a highly skilled team and we knew we’d have our hands full, and we knew what it would take and we were able to do that.”
- James C. Black at Yahoo! Sports11 mths ago
As had been widely projected in the final hours leading up to the NFL draft, the Kansas City Chiefs selected offensive tackle Eric Fisher with the No. 1 overall pick Thursday.
Fisher, from Central Michigan, was taken over higher-profile and fellow left tackle Luke Joeckel. Fisher will be expected to help upgrade an offense that now has quarterback Alex Smith at the helm and finished 31st in passing last year (183.6 yards per game).
Fisher becomes the third offensive tackle selected with the No. 1 overall pick since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. The first two were Orlando Pace with the St. Louis Rams in 1997 and Jake Long with the Miami Dolphins in 2008.
[Related: Eric Fisher an unlikely No. 1]
The 6-foot-7, 306-pound Fisher really began to generate buzz at the Senior Bowl, where he was one of the week's stars. He then backed it up by performing well at the NFL scouting combine a month later.