ROUND 2 GAME 3: Saints lead series 3-0.
By: Adam Kulak
It was a dominant display of hockey as the Saints put on a show against the Bonnyville Pontiacs. They outshoot the Pontiacs 47-13 and win 4-1, pushing Bonnyville to the brink in Game 3. The Saints would get a huge boost on the backend tonight as Tanner Hickey would make his return to the lineup for the first time since January 26th. Matthew Davis will be between the pipes again as the Saints would try to take a strangle hold on the series.
I expected Bonnyville to come out flying in these next two games. Being down 2-0 on the road, these are must win games for them if they want to get back into this series. I knew the Saints would be capable of matching their urgency, but I didn’t quite expect the first period to go the way that it did. The Saints came out with rocket fuel in their skates to start this game. They immediately took control of this game, it almost looked like they were the desperate team down in the series. Bonnyville looked completely flustered in their own zone because whenever they had the puck the Saints were right on top of them like that. Just 3 minutes into the game, the Saints were swarming the crease with opportunities and Parker Saretsky would get the puck out front and beat Colby Muise five hole to open the scoring in Game 3. That would be all the scoring, the shots were 21-7 for the Saints after 20 minutes.
As if things couldn’t get much worse for the Pontiacs, they only mustered 2 shots in the entire second period. The Saints didn’t let up one bit in the middle frame, they continued to have the puck for the majority of the game and their puck pursuit was way too much for Bonnyville to handle. They started getting rewarded more for their play in the second. Just under 2 minutes in on the powerplay, Cam Mitchell would get his 2nd of the playoffs off a backdoor shot, making it 2-0. 2 minutes after that, Mitchell would then set up Seth Fyten out front to give the Saints a 3-0 lead. The Saints weren’t done there, at the 8-minute mark, Logan Ganie would get sprung on a breakaway and he would make no mistake as the Saints open up for 3 goals in the first 8 minutes of the period, that would be the end of Colby Muise’s night. Things would get heated as the period went on, Bonnyville was getting frustrated and their emotions were starting to boil up. They would get on the board 13 minutes in as Lucas Thorne would make a nice move around a Saints defenseman and beat Davis high to get Bonnyville on the board. Shots in the period were 22-2 as the Saints are in complete control of this game.
Not a lot happened in the third period as the shots were 4-4 in the final frame. It was a chippy 20 minutes, you can tell Bonnyville was frustrated all game long and they were mainly trying to just play the Saints tough and try to send a message for Game 4. The refs were letting a lot go in the period, but the Saints did a great job of keeping their cool and they would eventually close out the 4-1 win here at the Grant Fuhr Arena.
The Saints have a chance to close out the Pontiacs tomorrow night back here at the Grant Fuhr, puck drop at 7:00 PM.