By Terry Martin
The Saints and Storm played each other for the 2nd time this season after matching up all the way back at the beginning of November. Spruce Grove took the first victory 6-5 as the Saints held off a late surge by the Storm. Grande Prairie currently sits last place in the North division and they are on their last day of 3 games in 3 nights. The Saints took control of 1st place in the North with their 3-game winning streak and beating the Oil Barons who are now 6 points behind Spruce Grove.
It was announced that Tristan Martin was named the Alberta Ford Dealers AJHL Defensive Player of the Week and Caiden Gault was named the Pizza 73 AJHL Player of the Week. Martin picked up 3 wins this week and posted a 0.933 SV%, while Gault put up 9 points through 3 games.
In the 1st period of the game tonight the Storm would open the scoring on their power play as Nathanial Bierd would tip in the puck with 8:19 to play in the opening frame. Evan Gass would then score just under a minute later for the Storm to give them a 2-0 lead early on. Luigi Benincasa would then score with just under a minute to go to cut the Storm lead in half. The Saints would lead in shots 11-7 after 20 minutes of play.
The Saints would storm back in the second period as they would eventually take their first lead on the night near the end of the frame. Caiden Gault would score first for Spruce Grove early in the period on the power play to tie the game. Brett Pfoh would then come down on a break and go five-hole during the last 2 minutes to put the team up 3-2. The Saints would also lead in shots 23-13 after 2 periods of play.
Gault would open the scoring for the Saints in the final period as he would finish off a great passing play, putting the team up 4-2. Breck McKinley would then come down the slot and fire the puck home to give the Saints a comfortable lead heading into the final 10 minutes. Evan Gass would then score for the Storm with 2 minutes to go on a 2 on 1 chance. Tristan Martin would then score his first AJHL goal on the empty net to seal the deal for the Saints to give the Saints the 6-3 win. It is also believed that Martin is now the first goalie in AJHL history to score a goalie goal. The Saints would also dominate in shots 34-22 after 60 minutes.
The Saints have now won 4 games in a row and are right back in the action on Wednesday in Whitecourt as they take on the Wolverines for the last time this season.
ðŸš¨ GOALIE GOAL ALERT ðŸš¨
ðŸŽ¥: @sgsaints pic.twitter.com/vgPEe5ROzT
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 19, 2022