By: Terry Martin
The Spruce Grove Saints looked to get back into the win column in tonight’s game against the Bonnyville Pontiacs after falling in overtime to the Thunder on Saturday. Despite the losing effort the Saints are still in control of 1st in the North Division with 64 points, just 2 points ahead of the Oil Barons. The Pontiacs sit third in the North with 26 wins and 57 points through 41 games. Both Spruce Grove and Bonnyville have won two games against each other, but the Saints just edge out the Pontiacs having secured the extra point with an overtime loss.
Both teams would come out of the gate with a great pace as each team fights to see who will be atop the division at the end of the season. The Saints would strike first on the power play as Liam Watkins would fire the puck home after a great pass from Brett Pfoh as his point streak extends to 14 games. The Saints would end the period up a goal and leading 11-9 in shots.
The Saints would be penalized the most in the period as they were forced to kill off 3 opportunities throughout the frame. Spruce Grove would stand strong and Tristan Martin would hold off the Pontiacs to keep the Saints lead. No one would score in the middle frame and the Pontiacs would now lead in shots 22-16.
Alex Atwill would be the one to put the Pontiacs on the board, stealing the puck in the slot and burying the puck to tie the game 1-1. Martin would battle back for the team and pull off a flurry of saves to keep the game tied half way through the period. Brett Pfoh would put the Saints back in the lead with his 50th point on the season after getting a great pass from Caiden Gault. Nikola Jovanovic would then go upstairs to give the team the insurance marker and the 3-1 lead. Brandon Kowal would also get his first AJHL point on the Jovanovic goal with an assist. Brett Pfoh would then score his 2nd of the game and 20th goal of the season on the empty net to put the Saints up 4-1. Spruce Grove would continue to hold onto the lead to get back into the win column in Bonnyville. Final shots in the game would favour the Pontiacs 32-24, but the Saints would come out with the victory.
The Saints road trip will end in Blackfalds on Friday where they will play the Bulldogs for the 2nd time this regular season, Spruce Grove had already beaten Blackfalds 6-5 earlier in October.