By: Terry Martin
The Saints needed a bounce back performance in this afternoon’s tilt at the Grant Fuhr Arena. The Saints have yet to win on home ice in this 8 game against Fort McMurray.
Both teams started the game very strong, trading chances and trading power plays. Luigi Benincasa would open the scoring on the power play, receiving a beautiful pass back door from Graham Gamache and ripping the puck into the yawning cage. Michael Hodge would then get the goal back for the Oil Barons after a quick rush down the ice. The Saints would lead the period in shots by a total of 14-9.
The Oil Barons would be the ones to strike first in the second period, as Tristan Kimmen scored short side on Palmer to give Fort McMurray a 2-1 lead. Jesse Burchart would then get his 4th goal in 2 games to give the Oil Barons a 2-goal lead late in the period. Brophy Dunne and Max Struss would get in a fantastic tilt mid period and finally Michael Hodge would get his second goal of the game off the ensuing powerplay. The Oil Barons would lead at the end of 40 minutes by a score of 4-1, they would also lead the game in shots 24-21.
Neither team would find the net thanks to some key saves made by the goaltenders. Palmer robbed Hodge with a cross-ice pad save five minutes into the period. Palmer would also make a great blocker save on a breakaway from Jesse Burchart followed by an unbelievable desperation save with the tip of his stick deep in the crease. The final score would end up being 4-1, and the final shots would be 31-23 for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons.
Both teams will faceoff twice next weekend for the final time in this cohort series. Friday night back at the Grant Fuhr Arena at 7:00pm and Sunday afternoon in Fort Mac at 4:00pm. Fans can catch all the action on the Saints Radio Network and on HockeyTV.