By Terry Martin
The Saints and Dragons played each other for the 2nd and last time this regular season as Spruce Grove hosted Military Appreciation night. The Saints took the first game 6-3 back at the beginning of December which put the Spruce Grove back into the win column after 2 losses to the Oil Barons. The Drumheller Dragons are looking to hold onto 2nd place in the South, sitting just 5 points ahead of the Kodiaks with 68 points. The Saints still hold the 1st place position in the North with an 11-point lead on Fort McMurray.
The game would start fast as both teams would trade chances and heavy hits throughout the first 15 minutes of the opening frame. Both goalies would have to make some timely saves as the ice opened up towards the end of the period. The game would remain tied but the Saints would be on top 8-6 in shots after 20 minutes of play.
Coster Dunn would finally break the ice at the halfway mark of the game as he would fire the puck blocker side. The Saints would build on that momentum, keeping the puck in the Dragons end for the majority of the period. Spruce Grove would also lead 20-13 in shots after the middle frame.
The Saints would continue to hold the momentum that they built in the previous period as they would again dominate puck possession. The Saints would also find themselves on a 5-minute power play halfway through the frame for a chance to extend the lead. Liam Watkins would be the one to score as he would jam home the rebound to make it 2-0. The Saints would hold off the Dragons in a last-minute push to tie the game and win their 5th game in a row. Spruce Grove would also find themselves on top in the shot department 36-18 after 60 minutes. Tristan Martin will also record his first career AJHL shutout and his first as a Saint.
The Saints will also clinch 1st place in the North and the 1st round bye in playoffs with the Oil Barons loss tonight.
The Spruce Grove Saints continue their homestand tomorrow against the Olds Grizzlys for the final time this season.