Saints Lose to Storm 6-5 in OT
By: Adam Kulak
It was a wild up and down game at the Revolution Place in Grande Prairie but unfortunately the same result. The Saints offense was clicking, putting up 5 goals but they let they had two leads slip away and eventually fell again to Grande Prairie in Overtime by a 6-5 score. Adam Hall would come back into the lineup in replace of Ryan Peckford and Max Duchesne would get back between the pipes for his 10th start of the season.
The Saints got out to a better start in this game as they would jump out to a 2-0 lead. Grande Prairie didn’t get their first shot of the game until near the halfway point of the period. 9 minutes in, the Saints would capitalize on their first powerplay as Jordan Biro would put in the rebound off a Brayden Nicholetts shot as Biro has goals in three straight games.
In the later part of the period, Grande Prairie would get two powerplay opportunities but the first one saw the Saints taking advantage. The Saints would get a break as Stanley Cooley would burst in on a breakaway. He was stopped by Lars Kaliel on the backhand, but Jonathan Assayag was right there to pick up the loose change as the Saints get a shorty to extend their lead.
The second Grande Prairie powerplay didn’t go as good unfortunately. Near the end of the man advantage, the Storm would convert on their second powerplay chance as Nathan Morgan would redirect the slot pass from Nate Bierd to cut the lead in half. That would come late in the period with just under 3 minutes to go, and that is how the period would end as the Storm would get some life.
The shots in the period were 11-7 in favor of the Saints as this time they would lead the game after 20 minutes.
Things got pretty nuts in the second as there were 5 total goals in the first 6 minutes of the period. It was a less than ideal start to the period for the Saints as they would give up two quick ones in the first two minutes to give up their lead.
Devin Sutton would get the first one over a minute in off a backhand rebound to get the second period scoring started. Just 30 seconds later, Luke Jirousek would find the puck in a scramble and beat Max Duchesne in tight as the Storm steal the lead away from the Saints.
Just when it looked like things were going off the rails, the Saints decided to turn the tables and give it right back to Grande Prairie with quick goals of their own. Instead of two quick goals, the Saints decided to one up the Storm by scoring three quick ones in a span of two minutes.
On the man advantage, Tanner Klassen would send a pass backdoor for Seth Fyten as the Saints go 2/2 on the powerplay. 20 seconds later, Adam Hall would come down the left wing and find a hole on Lars Kaliel as the Saints steal the lead right back from the Storm.
Grande Prairie would call a timeout to try and settle things down, but it didn’t quite work. After the timeout, Jonathan Assayag would fire a shot from the high slot to give the Saints a two-goal lead, ending Lars Kaliel’s night for Grande Prairie.
Both teams started to tighten things up a bit in the second half of the period, but it was a pretty eventful middle frame to say the least. Shots on goal were 24-16 for the Saints through 40 minutes as they head into the third period with a two-goal lead.
It was a back and forth hockey game all night long and that trend would continue in the final frame. Not a lot happened in the first half of the period, but Grande Prairie would press in the second half to tie the game up. At the 13-minute mark, Jackson Wozniak would score on the powerplay to bring the Storm to within 1. That was their second powerplay goal of the night, matching the Saints 2 goals on the man advantage.
That would be Wozniak’s first of two in the period as he would find the back of the net once again to tie the game up with 3 minutes to go. The Saints give up another third period lead late and we head to Overtime once again as these two teams just refuse to solve things in regulation.
The Saints had a tough time generating anything in the extra frame as Grande Prairie had more scoring chances in OT. Just under 2 minutes in, Grande Prairie would get the break that they need. Samuel Erkkila would come in on a 1 on 1 and beat Max Duchesne on the backhand upstairs for the overtime winner as the Saints drop 2 straight games for the second time this season.
The Saints and the coaching staff aren’t going to be too thrilled with the results this weekend. The Saints offense was much better in this game but overall it wasn’t the best two games the Saints have played this season. There were positives in both games but not quite enough to get more than 2 points on the weekend road trip.
They will have a chance to get back on track Wednesday night as they are in Lloydminster to take on the Bobcats, puck drop is 7:30pm.
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