HOME GAME 9 RECAP: SAINTS HAMMER GRIZZLY’S 6-1.
By Adam Kulak
Coming off a tough 2-1 loss to the Wolverines in Whitecourt, the Saints respond in a big way, beating the struggling Olds Grizzly’s 6-1 here at Grant Fuhr Arena. Dylan Bourlai would return tonight from injury and callups Liam Hughes and Grahame Gamache made their Saints home debuts. Liam McCloskey would get the start in goal looking for his 4th win of the season.
The Saints controlled the play in the opening 20 minutes, they were the more aggressive team and their puck movement was quick and crisp. Dylan Wells took the first penalty of the night 2 minutes in for hooking. The Saints couldn’t capitalize on the man advantage, but they would strike first 7:18 into the period. Cory Babichuk would skate the puck into the zone, getting it to Jordan Biro who put it out front for Nick Leyer for his 7th of the Season. That would be the only scoring of the period, the Saints would continue to get quality shots, but Grizzlies goaltender Duncan Hughes was sharp in this period, keeping the game close. The shots were 14-5 for the Saints in the period as they hold a 1-0 lead after 20.
The Saints dominant play would continue in the second as they would open up for three goals in the period. 9:53 into the period, Dylan Bourlai would get a stick on a TJ Lloyd shot for his 6th of the season. Andrew Malek would go off for high sticking and the Saints would capitalize on their 3rd man advantage. Cory Babichuk would hit Cam Mitchell with a stretch pass and he fed Parker Saretsky on the 2 on 1 to make it 3-0. Saretsky would get his 2nd of the night and 10th of the season a few minutes later to extend the Saints lead to 4-0. The Saints were overwhelming the Grizzly’s with shots and spent most of the period in the offensive zone. The shots in the second period were 17-4 for the Saints and 31-9 overall as they hold a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes.
The Saints picked up right where they left off in the 3rd period. The Grizzly’s had no answer for the Saints defense, who were brilliant in this game.They were great at denying controlled zone entries and transitioning up the ice. 3 minutes in Landon Johnson would go off for interference and the Saints capitalized once again on the man advantage. Bruce MacGregor scored off a bounce for his 1st of the season to add to the lead. The penalty trouble for a frustrated Olds team continued as they would put the Saints on a 5 on 3 to help them pad their lead to 6-0. Logan Ganie would center it for Brent Schuldhaus as he would pop the water bottle for his 2nd of the season. With a few minutes left to play, an unfortunate break as Cory Babichuk would blow a tire at the blueline and Ty Budai would end McCloskey’s shutout bid on the breakaway making it 6-1, that’s all the offense Olds would get as the Saints would close out the 6-1 win.
The Saints powerplay has been a weakness all season but they stepped up tonight with three goals on the man advantage. The defense was very strong tonight, using their speed and moving the puck well, holding Olds to just 13 shots in this game. Dylan Bourlai made his presence known in his return to the lineup with a few huge hits and scoring chances in this one. Duncan Hughes did his best to keep the Grizzly’s in the game, but the Saints attack was way too much for Olds. Final shots of the night were 49-13 as they improve to 16-5-0 on the season.
The Saints are back in action tomorrow night in Sherwood Park to take on the Crusaders. They are back home on Wednesday, November 14th as they welcome the Whitecourt Wolverines, puck drop at 7:00pm.