By: Adam Kulak

This game was quite the eye opener, as the Saints winning streak comes to an end in ugly fashion with an 8-1 beatdown at the hands of the North Division leading Bonnyville Pontiacs.  Ryan Harker would come out of the lineup in this one after suffering an injury last night.  Matt Davis would also get the start in back to back nights with his 25th start of the season.

I don’t know if it could’ve gotten off to a worse start for the Saints in this one.  Just under two minutes in, they would already be down a man as Mackenzie Harden would get a game misconduct for a hit from behind.  The Saints would get into a lot of penalty trouble and Bonnyville would build momentum off it, scoring twice on the powerplay on route to a 4-goal opening period.  On the first powerplay, Joel Ray would get a rebound in front of the net for the first goal of the game.  At 8:21 of the period, Noah Lugli would step into a shot from the point for Bonnyville’s second goal.  Grayson Constable would have the rebound come right out to him with nobody on him to make it 3-0.  The Saints were chasing the whole period, Bonnyville had all the jump and momentum in this period.  Joel Ray would get his 2nd of the game which would end Matt Davis’ night as the Saints get out of a miserable period down 4-0.

The Saints responded with a much better effort in the second period, outshooting the Pontiacs 18-5.  Bonnyville took three straight minors in the second and on the third powerplay the Saints capitalized.  Cole Basnett would deflect Tanner Hickey’s point shot to get the Saints on the board with 7 minutes left in the period.  Unfortunately, it would take only a minute for Bonnyville to respond as Marc-Antoine Benoit would beat Liam McCloskey in tight to give Bonnyville back the four-goal lead.  It was a better period for the Saints, but they could only solve Colby Muise once as they head into the third down 5-1.

Things went from ugly to worse in the first 5 minutes of the period as Bonnyville would three and two more on the powerplay as they take this one 8-1.  It was a long night for the Saints as their win streak ends in rough fashion.  After one of their worst periods of the season, they did respond with a better second and third.  At the end of the day it wasn’t good enough, and they dug themselves way too big of a hole to climb out of.  Bonnyville was firing on all cylinders and it felt like everything they touched went in.  The Pontiacs are leading the division for a reason, but the Saints were not ready to play this game.

They will look to put this game behind them quickly as they are in Camrose on Wednesday to take on the Kodiaks.  They are back home February 8th for a rematch with Bonnyville, puck drop at 7:00pm.