ROUND 3 GAME 4: Series tied 2-2.
By: Adam Kulak
In a pivotal Game 4, the Saints come out and take both Game 3 and 4 on home ice and tie the North Division Final 2-2. TJ Lloyd, Ryan Peckford, Jordan Biro and Stanley Cooley would all score as the Saints would defeat the Cru by a final score of 4-1. Same lineup as Game 3 for the Saints as they would look for the same result tonight to tie this series up here in Game 4.
The first 20 minutes of this game were fairly even on both sides with both teams generating quality chances. It was a much better start for the Cru in this game, they came out fast and tried to get the Saints on their heels early. After last game you would expect a team like the Crusaders to want to rebound in the next game and that’s what they did to start the period. They had multiple really good looks in the first 5 minutes of the period, but the Saints were able to weather the storm. As the period went on, the Saints started to turn it up again and was able to get more offensive zone time after being pressured early on. They had two opportunities on the powerplay in the period and looked very good on both. They were moving the puck around well and were able to get good looks on Matt Berlin. They couldn’t capitalize on the first opportunity, but they were able to finish on their second chance. TJ Lloyd would beat Matt Berlin in front as the Saints would open the scoring for the third time in this series. That would be the only goal of the period, the Saints outshot the Cru 14-8 as they head into the second.
The second period was similar to the first in terms of both teams were playing well. The difference was the Saints did a better job of capitalizing on their opportunities. 8 minutes into the period, Cameron Aucoin would beat Matt Davis right off the faceoff as the Cru would tie the game up at 1. It wouldn’t take long for the Saints to respond as the put up two goals in two minutes to immediately jump out to a 3-1 lead. Inside the offensive zone, Ryan Peckford would retrieve the puck, go threw three Cru players and beat Matt Berlin for arguably the goal of the playoffs so far to give the Saints back the lead. Right after, the Cru would put the Saints back on the powerplay and Jordan Biro would burry a one timer from below the dots, making this a 3-1 hockey game. The Saints outshot the Cru 9-7 in the period and 23-15 after 40 minutes of play. After giving up a goal off a faceoff, Matt Davis was solid the rest of the period and the Saints off two nice goals would take a 3-1 lead heading into the final frame.
The Saints started to struggle a bit in the third period. They weren’t moving the puck as well as they did earlier in the game and started giving the Cru more chances than they needed to. Matt Davis was great in this game and he let the Saints recover and continue to play. Not a lot happened in the final frame, there were only 6 penalties all night which was a big change from last night’s 162 penalty minute fiasco. Stanley Cooley would add another goal off a redirect from Logan Ganie’s pass as the Saints would close out the 4-1 win and tie the series up 2-2. A bit of a sloppy third period but the Saints played a solid first two periods and were able to overcome the third to finish the game off.
The Saints will head to Sherwood Park on Friday for Game 5 of the North Division Final, looking to take a 3-2 series lead. Listen to the game live on http://mixlr.com/sprucegrovesaints/ starting at 7:00 PM.