Andrey Makarov stopped 30 of 33 shots Friday as the Saskatoon Blades opened the 2013 Memorial Cup
with a 3-2 loss to the London Knights. The Blades, who hadn't played since being eliminated from the WHLplayoffs back on March 27, took a bit to get into a groove but were kept in the game by some excellent saves by Makarov.
After Josh Nicholls (NYR) put the Blades got on the board, London draft prospect Bo Horvat caused a neutral zone turnover and skated in for the nice cross-ice feed to Brett Welychka to make it 1-1. The teams would trade goals to knot the game at 2-2 until 2013 draft eligible Nikita Zadorov buried a power play rebound with 5:45 left in the third period to give the Knights the victory. Despite the outcome, the effort earned Makarov the game's number one star.
The tournament continues Saturday with the much anticipated match-up between WHL champion Portland and kings of the QMJHL, Halifax. The game features the top three North American skaters in Winterhawks defender Seth Jones and the dynamic Mooseheads duo of Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin, along with Central Scouting's top-rated netminder in Zachary Fucale. Makarov and the Blades return to action Sunday versus Halifax.