Benincasa Scores Four As Saints Top Thunder 8-5

By Terry Martin

The Saints looked to stay perfect against the Thunder in tonight’s game while also trying to extend their win streak to 6 in a row. The Saints are now up 3 points on the Fort McMurray Oil Barons as they sit 1st in the North Division with 61 points. The Thunder sit 4th in the North and are just coming off an overtime loss against the Bonnyville Pontiacs on Tuesday.

The Saints started the game off with a five-minute power play after a couple of Thunder penalties. The Saints would be stopped on their man advantage but would lead 10-1 in shots through 10 minutes of play. Ewan McPherson would be the one to open the scoring, roofing the puck glove side on his breakaway opportunity. Hunter Brown would then add to the lead with 30 seconds left in the period, finishing off a great passing play around the crease. The Saints would lead 22-4 in shots and be up 2 goals after the opening frame.

The Thunder would get one back early in the 2nd period as Lucas Krol would score from the slot. The Saints would respond on the power play as Caiden Gault would fire home his 29th goal of the season from the left dot. Luigi Benincasa would then tip home the puck twice in a row to put the Saints up 5-1. Luca Ricci would then get the Thunder a little closer after he scored from the back door. Pisarczyk would then one-time the puck in the net for the 6th goal and then shortly after Benincasa would get the hat trick to put the Saints up 7-2. The Saints would also lead 35-13 in shots after 2 periods of play.

Both teams would trade some chances back and forth throughout the beginning of the 3rd period, but neither would score. Evan Forrest would then score with 9:40 to go in the game, followed by Brett Bamber to cut the Saints lead to 7-4. Lucas Krol would then get the Thunder within 2 goals after scoring from the right circle. Benincasa would then seal the deal with an empty net goal to give the Saints the 8-5 win. The Saints would dominate on the shot clock all night, firing 44 on net while the Thunder would have 23.

The Saints are on the road in Drayton Valley at 7 pm on Saturday to play the Thunder for the last time this season. Spruce Grove is now on a 3-game road trip and will be back at the Grant Fuhr Arena on January 16th to take on the Oil Barons at 2:00pm!