Saints Beat Storm 4-3 in OT Comeback Win
By: Adam Kulak
A rocky up and down game for the Saints as they go down 3-1 in the third. But they managed to turn it on late and complete the comeback over the Grande Prairie Storm with a 4-3 OT win, pushing their win streak to 7 games. Sam Popowich would come into the lineup for Cole Basnett and Max Duchesne would get the start looking for his 7th win in 9 starts.
It was a much different start to this game compared to Friday night. It was a fairly evenly played period, Grande Prairie has a lot of speed and they came out quick in this game. The Saints weren’t very crisp to start this game. They were making or trying to make a lot of the right plays, but pucks were bouncing off their sticks and they were whiffing on shots and passes.
They had two opportunities on the powerplay, first one coming just 2 minutes into the game. They had some trouble getting set up and establishing good zone time. Their second powerplay looked better but they still weren’t able to solve Lars Kaliel and the Storm penalty killers.
The Saints did do a good job for the most part of shutting down Grande Prairie’s scoring chances. They held them to just 1 shot for the majority of the period, they started to come on more later in the period and on a powerplay of their own to close the gap on shots. The Saints would spend almost the last 2 minutes of the period shorthanded, but Max Duchesne was really good late in the period and they would remain scoreless.
Shots in the period were 10-7 in favor of the Saints but neither team could find the back of the net after 20 minutes.
Things started off good for the Saints in the second as they would open the scoring a minute into the period. Brayden Nicholetts’ backhand would beat Lars Kaliel at the side of the net for his 5th goal in 12 games this season. However, things would go sideways quickly just a minute later, a miscue behind the Saints net would end up biting them as Storm captain Jackson Wozniak would take advantage and tie this game up.
Grande Prairie started to take control of the game at certain points in the middle frame. The Saints could not stay out of penalty trouble as they took 4 straight minors and spent most of the period killing penalties. The 4th penalty late in the period finally cost them as Nathaniel Bierd would deposit a backdoor rebound to give Grande Prairie the lead.
The Saints will look to stay disciplined and clean some things up in the third period. Shots after 40 minutes are 18-17 in favor of Grande Prairie as the Saints head into the final frame down by a goal.
Things were starting to look bleak for the Saints as the third period went on. It looked like Grande Prairie’s speed was really giving the Saints trouble. They were struggling to make clean plays coming out of their end and through the neutral zone. Grande Prairie would extend their lead to 3-1 off a Saints turnover coming out of their zone and Samuel Erkkila would make no mistake on the breakaway.
After what had gone on through the first 50 minutes of this game, most of this write up probably sounds like recapping a loss. I thought I was going to be recapping a loss as well, but the Saints decided in the last 10 minutes that they had other ideas. At the halfway point of the period, Ethan Edwards’ point shot would find its way through and Ryan Peckford would be right on the doorstep to put in the rebound to bring them within one.
You could see a momentum shift after that goal and the Saints started to find new life. They started making better plays with the puck and threw a lot at the Storm netminder. That would pay off with 6 minutes to play as Stanley Cooley would put it back to Brett Trentham up top for a shot from the point. Jordan Biro standing in front would get a stick on it as the Saints immediately turn this game right around.
That would do it for regulation as the Saints force overtime with two big goals in the third period. Just 47 seconds into overtime, Ryan Conroy would pick a great time for his first goal in a Saints sweater. Ryan Peckford would feed a cross ice pass to Conroy and Lars Kaliel couldn’t get all of it as the puck would just trickle across the line, giving the Saints a huge come from behind victory this afternoon.
It obviously wasn’t the Saints best performance and I’m sure the coaching staff won’t be thrilled about most of the game. However, to comeback like that is encouraging and they definitely won’t complain about the victory. The Saints will get set to face off against Grande Prairie twice next weekend as they will have two more meetings with them on the road. They will be in Grande Prairie Friday night and Saturday night for their final road trip of the season.
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