Saints Fall to Storm 3-2 in OT
By: Adam Kulak
After blowing a 3-1 lead and losing in overtime to the Saints in last Sunday, Grande Prairie was able to get their revenge with an overtime victory of their own. Edwards and Biro would score for the Saints but Lars Kaliel made 38 saves and Jarin Sutton would get the OT winner as the Saints lose their first game of the season after 60 minutes.
Neither team could really take full control of the game as the first period was very evenly played. The Saints were doing a lot of things well in the offensive zone, they were picking off passes to keep pucks in and they had several chances of getting on the scoresheet. Grande Prairie would open the scoring late in the period on the powerplay, as the puck would find its way to Devin Sutton right in the slot and he made no mistake.
The Saints came close several times to tying the game up, but Lars Kaliel was terrific in net, making two or three huge saves to maintain the 1-0 lead for the Storm. He robbed Ryan Peckford out front with a pad save and would just get a toe on a chance from Tanner Klassen just as the period was about to end.
Devin Sutton’s powerplay marker would remain the only goal of the period as the Storm would hold onto the one goal lead. Shots in the period were 11-10 in favor of the Saints as they head into the second trailing by 1.
The Saints really started to control the play in the second period, holding Grande Prairie to 1 shot for the first half of the period. They would find the equalizer just under a minute in, as Ethan Edwards would beat Lars Kaliel with a shot from the top of the slot.
Grande Prairie took back to back penalties midway through the period and on the second man advantage, the Saints made them pay. Jordan Biro off a give and go with Ryan Conroy, drove right to the net on his off-hand side and finished on the forehand with a sweet power move to give the Saints their first lead of the game.
The Storm would get some good chances near the end of the period on a late powerplay but that was where their best chances of the period came. Matt Davis was strong in the second half of the period and made a number of big saves to keep the 2-1 lead.
Grande Prairie brought the shot total closer late in the period, as it would be 23-18 Saints after 40 minutes. The Saints will look to continue their strong play as they now head into the final frame with a 1 goal lead here on the road.
The Saints didn’t give the Storm much in the final 20 minutes, they had multiple chances to put the game away but ultimately, they didn’t capitalize on the opportunity. Just 30 second into the period, the Saints would get a 4-minute powerplay to try and extend their lead, but they could not solve Lars Kaliel.
That was a huge chance to but as a result of this, Grande prairie continued to hang around and have a chance in this game. They only had 4 shots in the period but all it takes sometimes is a bounce or being opportunistic on a scoring chance and that’s what they did. Just under 5 minutes to play, there was a scramble in front of the Saints net and Nathan Morgan would put in the rebound on the backhand. I don’t think Matt Davis saw it through all the bodies and just like that the Storm tie the game up.
That goal would send these two teams to overtime for the second straight meeting with the Saints getting the better of the Storm last Sunday. It was a back and forth overtime period, the Saints continued to get scoring chances, but they just couldn’t finish in the third and overtime.
With 2 minutes remaining, all it would take was a 2 on 1 for Grande Prairie and Jarin Sutton would take advantage to give Grande Prairie the 3-2 OT win. The Storm continued to hang around all game long, Lars Kaliel was fantastic in net and gave them a chance to win. The Saints couldn’t buy a goal after 40 minutes in a close game and that ultimately is what cost them tonight.
The Saints will look to rebound right back here tomorrow night for the second of back to back games here in Grande Prairie, puck drop is 7:30pm once again at the Revolution Place.
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