By Adam Kulak

After their 3-2 loss to Whitecourt exactly 2 weeks ago, the Saints return home from their road trip and get their revenge, beating the Wolverines 2-1 here at Grant Fuhr Arena, evening the season series at 2-2.  Some lineup changes for the game as Jake Ashton, Dylan Bourlai and Cory Babichuk would not dress for tonight’s game.  Cole Basnett would make his Saints debut after coming over from the Calgary Mustangs for Kris Bladen.  16-year-old Ethan Edwards would also make his Saints debut after being called up from his Midget team.  Matthew Davis would get the start in goal looking for win #12 on the season.

It was a back and forth opening 20 minutes of this hockey game.  Both teams carried the play for stretches and both goaltenders were solid in the cage.  Basnett was strong in his first 20 minutes as a Saint with multiple hits and scoring chances, coming close a few times to get the Saints on the board.  No goals or penalties as the period would end 0-0, shots were 13-8 in the Saints favor.

The Saints struggled a little bit in the 2nd period, the Wolverines were quick on pucks and they had the puck for most of the period.  The Saints struggled to transition the puck cleanly with multiple errand passes and turnovers.  Both Tye Morin and Matt Davis made quality saves in the period keeping the game close.  There was one penalty in the period, Ethan Edwards would go off for interference at 12:32 of the period but the Saints would kill it off.  Unfortunately, they would give up the first goal of the game a few minutes later as Chase Haygarth would fire a shot down the right wing that would beat Matt Davis to make it 1-0.  The Wolverines outshot the Saints in that period 11-9 and would take a 1-0 lead heading into the final 20 minutes.

After a shaky 2nd period, the Saints started to find their game.  Matt Davis kept the game close and gave the Saints a chance to find their game in the 3rd.  5 minutes in, Adam Sandstrom would go off for cross checking and the Saints would capitalize on the man advantage.  Tanner Hickey let a one timer go from the point off the back boards right to Parker Saretsky on the doorstep for his 11th of the season.  Minutes later, Alex Dalton and Wolverine Josh Corrow each took double minors seconds apart and the game started to really open up at 4v4.  A minute into the 4v4, TJ Lloyd would take a 2 on 1 feed from Bruce MacGregor for his 8th of the season to give the Saints their first lead of the hockey game.  It wasn’t always pretty but the Saints found their game in the third period and found a way to win, outshooting the Wolverines 8-4 in the frame and holding on for the 2-1 win.

Cole Basnett and Ethan Edwards both had very strong performances in their Saints debuts.  Basnett used his size on the forecheck and created so many chances but couldn’t solve Wolverine goaltender Tye Morin.  Edwards was great positionally and used his great skating ability and vision to move the puck and make things happen.  The Saints powerplay has struggled this season but it came up big tonight with the game tying goal from Parker Saretsky.  The Saints are back in action Friday night as they welcome the Drayton Valley Thunder, puck drop at 7:00pm.