By Adam Kulak

It was a thriller of a game as the Saints defeat the Calgary Mustangs 4-3 in Overtime here at Grant Fuhr Arena to win their 3rd straight game. It was a fast pace game with plenty of scoring chances for both teams, but it would be the Saints pulling it out in the end to improve to 13-4-0 on the season.

It was a good pace to the first period.  Both teams were moving the puck quick and both had good chances in that frame.  The Saints did a good job of denying controlled zone exits and entries and forced Calgary to go for long flips and dump ins.  It would be the Mustangs however who struck first as a little miscommunication by the Saints off the rush leaves Cole Basnett open streaking in who receives the pass and beats Matt Davis for the 1-0 lead.  The Saints would get in a little bit of penalty trouble as Cam Mitchell would go off for hooking and Dylan Bourlai would get a roughing minor 3 minutes later.  The Saints would kill both penalties off and at 17:39 of the first they would tie the game up.  Two beautiful passes leading to the goal, Jaxen Wyatt with a long stretch pass from behind the net to spring Jacob Ashton on the 2 on 1 and he does a no look spin o rama pass to Stanley Cooley back door for his 2nd of the season.  The shots were 8-7 for Spruce Grove as the period would end tied 1-1.

The second period was all Spruce Grove as they score two goals in the frame to take a two-goal lead.  They would continue to get into penalty trouble as Dylan Bourlai would go off for charging and the Saints would also get a too many men bench minor.  The Saints penalty killers killed both off once again and in the second half of the period the Saints would start to open the game up.  Stanley Cooley would get his 2nd of the game beating Mustangs goaltender Ashton Abel from the slot.  A minute later, Cam Mitchell would take a TJ Lloyd feed and would trip, get held up and spun around but still managed to somehow get a backhand off and beat Ashton Abel on a terrific effort for his 8th of the season.  The Saints outshot the Mustangs 10-5 in the period and would lead the game 3-1 after 40 minutes.

The Mustangs would fight back in the third period.  2 minutes in, Jackson Salt buries the backdoor feed from Daniel Rybarik to cut the lead to 1.  After that the Saints would control most of the period, they had most of the offensive zone time and moved the puck very well.  Calgary likes to create offense off the rush and the Saints got caught on odd man rushes a few times in this game, but Matt Davis bailed them out several times tonight.  The Saints played well in the period but they couldn’t quite close it out in regulation, 49 seconds left in the period with Ashton Abel on the bench, Mustang defender Reese Soukoroff would fire a shot from the point through a screen to tie the game up late.  As always, 3 on 3 overtime was a thriller to watch, as each team traded Grade A scoring chances but it was the Saints who would get the dagger.  Cory Babichuk with just under 3 minutes would show great poise and patience with the puck, circling the zone multiple times before taking the puck to the net and beating Ashton Abel for the OT winner.

The Saints are back in action tomorrow night, as they welcome the 13-1-0 Brooks Bandits in what should be a thriller of a game as well.  The Saints know they can’t give as many odd men rushes against Brooks as they did tonight so they have to clean that up for tomorrow.  Puck drop is 7:00PM here at Grant Fuhr Arena.