SASKATOON - Steven Stanford had to work a little harder to earn his second consecutive playoff shutout, making 33 saves as the Saskatoon Blades blanked the Red Deer Rebels once again, 4-0, to take a 2-0 lead in their Western Hockey League Eastern Conference quarter-final series Sunday.
Stanford stopped 24 shots in Saturday's 3-0 win. The Calgary native has just two shutouts in 120 WHL regular-season games.
Curtis Hamilton, Jyri Niemi and Walker Wintoneak all scored in the opening five minutes of the first period to chase Rebels starter Darcy Kuemper, who made one save on four shots. Kraymer Barnstable stopped 17 of 18 in replacement.
Darian Dziurzynski capped the scoring in the third for Saskatoon, which is looking to advance to the conference semifinals for the first time since 2006.
The series resumes Wednesday in Red Deer, Alta.