By: Terry Martin
The Saints entered game two of the weekend after pulling out a 4-3 victory at the Grant Fuhr Arena against the Thunder on Friday night, this win would mark their first win at home in 2021. Spruce Grove looked to keep the winning streak alive this Sunday afternoon in Drayton Valley.
Levi Hall would make his first career AJHL start, only appearing in relief a few weeks back against the Oil Barons. After six consecutive shots for the Thunder, they would eventually strike first as Kernaghan would score from the circle. Kye Whillans would then score on his former team to tie the game three minutes later. Both teams would trade odd man rushes throughout the rest of the period, but the score would remain the same after one period. Saints would lead in shots 13-9 at the end of 20 minutes.
The second period would feature more of the same back and forth action that started in the first period. Both teams would get lots of chances but couldn’t solve either of the goalies until the last few minutes of the period. Grayson Reid would be the one to score for Drayton Valley after a 3-on-1 chance. Luigi Benincasa would then make the water bottle dance a minute later to tie the game at 2. The Saints would take their first lead of the game as McKay Hayes would poke the puck home after a scramble in front of the Thunder net. Saints would still lead in shots after the second period by a total of 23-16.
Both teams would again keep the high-octane action going, getting chance after chance but no goals would be scored for the first ten minutes. The Saints would dominate in shots 13-3 in the first half of the period as well. Graham Gamache would get the insurance marker on the power play just nine seconds into the advantage. Keegan Law would get his first AJHL point on the goal. The Thunder would score with 20 seconds left, but the Saints would hold off the attack to win again by a score of 4-3. Final shots would by 40-22 in favour of Spruce Grove.
The Saints and Thunder will play their remaining two games this coming weekend to end the 4-game cohort series. The teams will play in Drayton Valley on Friday, April 23rd and finish up in Spruce Grove on Saturday, April 24th. Fans can catch all the action on the Saints Radio Network (mixlr.com/sprucegrovesaints).