Andrey Makarov stopped 37 shots as the Saskatoon Blades downed the host Moose Jaw Warriors 3-1 on Friday in Western Hockey League action.
The victory was the Blades' 10th in a row and their recent success has seen them jump over both the Swift Current Broncos and Prince Albert Raiders for first place in the East Division and second in the Eastern Conference standings.
"We need points every night right now," said Makarov, who also had some luck from three shots hitting his posts. "The goal posts are my friends. So I appreciate that."
Matej Stranksy had a goal and an assist for the Blades (33-21-3) while Shayne Gwinner and Darren Dietz each scored once.
Stransky has picked up a point in all 10 of Saskatoon's victories and in total has eight goals and nine assists.
Tanner Eberle scored the lone goal for the Warriors (19-30-9), who are now 12 points out of the final playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
"I was happy with the way we played. We played hard. I have no complaints from that end," said Warriors head coach Mike Stothers. "I was encouraged with the play of our team against a good hockey club."
"It's tough because we're running out of time and running out games here," added the coach. "It would be easy for our guys to think they had no chance against a very powerful Saskatoon team, but that didn't happen. They played hard. As a coach, that's all you can ask for from your team."
Justin Paulic made 36 saves in a losing cause for Moose Jaw.
Saskatoon went 2 for 3 on the power play while Moose Jaw failed to score on five chances with the man advantage.
Elsewhere in the WHL, it was: Swift Current 2, Regina 1; Brandon 3, Kootenay 2; Medicine Hat 5, Prince George 3; Red Deer 2, Victoria 1 (SO); Kamloops 4, Kelowna 2; Tri-City 6, Portland 2; Spokane 6, Everett 3 and Vancouver 3, Seattle 2 (SO).
At Moose Jaw, Sask., after a scoreless first period, Gwinner and Stransky scored three minutes apart in the second to give the Blades a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes of play.
Dietz made it 3-0 1:44 into the third period before Eberle ruined Makarov's shutoout bid at 6:27.
Broncos 2 Pats 1
At Regina, Eetu Laurikainen made 28 saves while Adam Lowry and Levi Bews each scored as Swift Current (28-25-6) slipped past the Pats (20-32-6) for its first win in three outings.
Wheat Kings 3 Ice 2
At Brandon, Man., Jordan Papirny made 27 saves for his first WHL victory and Ryan Pulock had a goal and an assist as the Wheat Kings (21-34-4) edged Kootenay (27-29-2) to halt a three-game winless streak
Tigers 5 Cougars 3
At Medicine Hat, Alta., Curtis Valk had a goal and two assists and Hunter Shinkaruk had a goal and an assist as the Tigers (30-26-3) extended their win streak to five games by defeating Prince George (17-33-8).
Rebels 2 Royals 1 (SO)
At Red Deer, Alta., Patrik Bartosak stopped 44 shots in regulation and overtime, and all three shooters in the shootout, and Rhyse Dieno scored the winner as the Rebels (31-22-6) beat Victoria (32-20-5), which has dropped back-to-back contests.
Blazers 4 Rockets 2
At Kamloops, B.C., Brendan Ranford had a goal and two assists and Cole Cheveldave made 26 saves as the Blazers (39-15-5) extended their win streak to five games by doubling up Kelowna (42-14-4).
Americans 6 Winterhawks 2
At Portland, Ore., Troy Trombley made 41 saves for his first WHL win and Zachary Yuen and Justin Feser each had a goal and two assists as Tri-City (32-22-3) halted its three-game slide by downing the Winterhawks (46-9-3).
Chiefs 6 Silvertips 3
At Everett, Wash., Alessio Bertaggia scored twice in his first game back from injury and Eric Williams made 24 saves as Spokane (34-22-2) doubled up the Silvertips (21-33-5), who are winless in their last nine games.
Giants 3 Thunderbirds 2 (OT)
At Kent, Wash., Arvin Atwal scored 23 seconds into overtime and Payton Lee turned aside 25-of-27 shots as Vancouver (15-43-0) defeated the Thunderbirds (19-32-7), who have dropped seven games in a row.