Goalie Austin Elliott and the Saskatoon Blades made WHL history in their last series against the Red Deer Rebels when they came back from a 3-0 series deficit last week. They became only the third team ever to complete the miraculous comeback, as their 5-2 victory last Tuesday officially completed their comeback and let them advance into their current series against the Winnipeg Ice.
Having previously played for the Strathmore Storm, Elliott has transitioned into the WHL about as well as anyone could expect. Winning WHL goalie of the week twice and shutting out Connor Bedard in a previous playoff win, Elliott now has a reverse sweep under his belt in his first year in the league.
"Our team just kept fighting and kept believing in ourselves and once you get one, two wins in a row, then you start getting on a little roll and the belief gets even stronger. We just kept going and kept coming after them, it is pretty crazy to think that we reverse-swept them, it was just really awesome to be a part of," he said.
Speaking about always fighting and believing in yourself it is much easier said than done but for Elliott and the Blades he said it was all about focusing on the little things, rather than worrying about the prospect of pulling off the reverse-sweep.
"It can be a little bit daunting, the fact that you have to come back and win four straight games in a row, it seems like a pretty big task so we just kind of narrowed it down to just taking it one day at a time, one shift at a time, one period at a time, so that I think made it a little bit easier on us. And if you just take it one day at a time, eventually those days start to pile up."
Once those wins did start adding up though, Elliott said the Blades had no problem keeping up the attack, especially since the pressure was all on Red Deer at that point.
The Blades are now in the WHL Eastern Conference Championships against the Winnipeg Ice, and Elliott said they pose a different type of challenge than Red Deer.
"Red deer is really a bigger team, more physical 'meat and potatoes' type team. With Winnipeg, they're more of a skilled, faster team that has lots of offensive threats and stuff like that. So for us, it's just trying to figure out how to limit their offense and how to shut them down and just figure out ways we can find our way around them and start getting the games to fall in our direction."
Elliott joked they've got the Ice right where they want them, as Winnipeg currently holds a 2-0 series advantage. The series heads to Saskatoon tonight, where the Blades will look to even up the series in games 3 and 4. The game starts at 6:00 p.m. Mountain Time.
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