By: Terry Martin
The Spruce Grove Saints and Fort McMurray Oil Barons were set to play their final game this afternoon in Fort McMurray to end the first cohort series. The Saints looked to get their 2nd win in this series!
The Oil Barons would end up scoring 3 goals in the first period, getting tallies from Akl, Hodge and Harding. The Saints would get called for two tripping penalties in the period and would not get the chance to go on a power play. Thomas Couture started the game for the Saints, but Tyler Palmer would get put in to relieve him half way through the 1st period. The final shots in the period favoured the Oil Barons 8-7, and the Saints would trail 3-0 after 20 minutes of play.
The Saints would bring more intensity to the second period, getting two goals in the first 10 minutes. Nikola Jovanovic would dangle two Oil Baron defenders and then slide the puck five hole for the Saints first goal of the game. Breck McKinley would then snipe one glove side to cut the deficit to one. Then, Caiden Gault would end up getting his first in the AJHL to tie the game for the Saints after being down 3-0. Final shots after 40 minutes were 20-17 for the Saints.
Both teams would bring a fast pace into the third period, getting in more scrums after the whistle and dealing some heavy hits. The Oil Barons would regain the lead after a Rider McCallum goal from the dot in the right circle. The Saints would not go away, Liam Watkins would score to tie the game at 4 moments later. The final shots after 60 minutes were 33-24 for the Saints.
For the second time in this cohort series, the Saints and Oil Barons would head to overtime. Graham Gamache would be the hero in this game, scoring five hole on a broken 2-on-1 play to seal the game for the Saints.
Spruce Grove will now have to wait for their next opponent after wrapping up their first cohort series. To stay up to date on when the next games will take place and who the Saints will play by following the Saints on social media, @sgsaints.