Rosetown's Vaughn Watterodt and the Saskatoon Blades seem to be settled in following the first round of Western Hockey League playoffs. Back on March 28 the Blades dropped their playoff opener to the Prince Albert Raiders, but have been on a tear ever since, winning four straight games to complete the gentleman's sweep against their Highway 11 rivals.

After a slow start to Game 1, Watterodt shared how they managed to kick things into gear the rest of the way out against Prince Albert.

"That first game we weren't up to our standard, re-focused for Game 2, and played really good hockey throughout." said Watterodt, who had one assist in the first round. "It was fun for us to get back into playoff mode. Always more intense in the playoffs, bigger moments, so it was really good."

Now gearing up for the second round, the Blades are set to take on the Red Deer Rebels beginning Friday. It's a rematch of 2023's second round series that saw the Blades complete an improbable comeback, engineering a reverse sweep over the Rebels after going down 3-0 to begin the series.

The top-seeded Blades now have a week of practice ahead of them to prepare for the Rebels, who won their opening series against the Medicine Hat Tigers in five games. Throwing their regular season records out the window, Watterodt talked about the matchup and what they can control.

"Stick to our standard. It's a big rivalry when (we play) Red Deer, obviously going from last year's big series. They are a good team, a hard-working team, so we'll have to be at our best every night, and can't take shifts off."

Watterodt Story Steve Hiscock.jpg (Photo taken by Steve Hiscock)

The Blades certainly entered this years postseason with some lofty expectations. Saskatoon's 105 points in the regular season were the most out of any team in the entire WHL.

Watterodt talked about the importance of managing those expectations, while still keeping up with "the standard" already being referenced a few times before.

"A little bit," said Watterodt on the pressure associated with the #1 seed. "But I think we are so process orientated, win or lose, we are a process based team. And we just need to continue with how we play, and how we know we can play, to be at our best against Red Deer."

Game 1 between the Blades and Rebels will be played on Friday, April 12 at 7:00 PM, with Game 2 set for Sunday at 4:00 PM. Watterodt mentioned the home crowd has been rocking the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, and as a player that likes to bring the energy, the Blades used Rosetown's own in a ticket promo for Friday and Saturday that you can view below.