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'We view ourselves as a wolf pack': Saskatoon Blades set for playoff tilt against Raiders


The rivalry between the Prince Albert Raiders and Saskatoon Blades is about to heat up.

Both teams are set to clash in the first round of the WHL playoffs, which begin Thursday night at SaskTel Centre.

And although the stakes are high, and emotion couldn’t be higher, Blades head coach Brennan Sonne said his team will be disciplined.

“It’s on our wall, it’s part of our values — we view ourselves as a wolf pack. We’re just going to keep coming and coming and coming. And we’re gonna run and hunt and chase, and run and hunt and chase. And were just gonna’ keep coming. And you do that between the whistles,” Sonne said Monday.

“It has nothing to do with ego, or the war of words. There is no Connor McGregors in here. We’re just a wolf pack that are going to run and chase and hunt and bite and keep goin.”

The Blades downed the Raiders 5-0 on Saturday, and 5-1 on Friday night, capping off the season with two convincing victories over the first round playoff opponent.

Saskatoon finished with the best record in the WHL, notching their first 50-win season since 2010-11.

Prince Albert finished the season with 67 points, staying ahead of the Calgary Hitmen for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The last time the Blades and Raiders met in the playoffs was in the second round of 2019 when the Raiders took the series in six games. That season, Prince Albert went on to win the WHL Championship, defeating the Vancouver Giants in seven games.

The Blades are coming off a conference final appearance last season. It was the first appearance in the third round for Saskatoon since 1994.

This season, expectations are high for the Blades to overcome that barrier, and one player who brings playoff experience is Fraser Minten.

“I think I’ve played almost close to 30 games now in the playoffs, the memorial cup, too, so I’m used to it and know how exciting it can be. And how emotional it can be, too. So, I think all good experiences to draw back on from trying to not get too high and not get too low; stay present; stay even keeled and focus on the game,” Minten said.

Defenceman Charlie Wright says he will be feeding off the crowd.

“You can feel the energy in the building with lots of people there. You definitely get a little bit more amped up yourself too for these big time games.”

Tickets for games one and two went on sale Monday morning, with several sections in the upper bowl at SaskTel Centre opened up for fans.

Puck drop for game one is 7:00 p.m. on Thursday night. Top Stories

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