Sabres prospect Andrey Makarov made 29 saves as the Saskatoon Blades shocked the Halifax Mooseheads 5-2 on Sunday at the MasterCard Memorial Cup. The win was the first in more than two months for the Blades, who are the host team for this year’s event. It was also just the 11th loss of the season for the top-ranked Mooseheads, after going 16-1 in the QMJHL Playoffs.
The win improved the Blades to 1-1-0 in the round-robin portion of the tournament. Saskatoon dropped their opening game by a 3-2 count to the London Knights on Friday. They next see action on Wednesday against Seth Jones and the Portland Winterhawks.
The 20-year-old Makarov has started both games for Saskatoon, posting a 2.53 GAA and .922 save%.
Saskatoon was guaranteed a spot in the tournament as the host club, but they were swept in the first round of the Western Hockey League playoffs by Medicine Hat on March 27. Prior to Sunday’s victory, Saskatoon’s last win was a 5-0 shutout of Prince Albert on March 15.
Halifax center Nathan MacKinnon, who is expected to be among the top three selections in next month’s NHL Entry Draft, leads the tournament in scoring with five points (4+1) after two games. MacKinnon scored once against Saskatoon on Sunday, after collecting a hat trick and one assist in Halifax’s 7-4 drubbing of Portland on Saturday.
Monday: Portland vs. London, 8 p.m. ET
Tuesday: Halifax vs. London, 8 p.m. ET
Wednesday: Saskatoon vs. Portland, 8 p.m. ET
Thursday: Tie-Breaker Game (if necessary), 8 p.m. ET
Friday: Semifinal, 8 p.m. ET
Sunday: Championship Game, 7 p.m. ET
(All games will be shown tape-delayed the next day at 1 p.m. in the US on NHL Network)