ROUND 4 GAME 3: Bandits lead series 3-0.
By: Adam Kulak
Not the result the Saints hoped for on the scoreboard in Game 3. They couldn’t solve Pierce Charleson enough and Brooks would pull away for 5 goals, winning convincingly 5-1 here at the Grant Fuhr Arena and now take a commanding 3-0 series lead. One lineup change for the Saints as Cole Basnett would come back in and Ryan Peckford would come out due to injury. Matt Davis would be back in the net as we head to the first period.
The first period of this game was an evenly played period for both teams. The Saints came out in the first and stuck with the Bandits well, creating multiple chances themselves throughout the period. Coming into Game 3 down 2-0 in the series, it was important for the Saints to get a better start in this game. Both teams had a chance on the powerplay, the Saints powerplay would continue to struggle as they couldn’t solve the Bandits stingy penalty kill. The Bandits would get a powerplay with 4 minutes left in the period and they would break through just as it expired. Just one second after the Saints penalty expired, Luke Bast would set up Andrew Lucas who steps into a point shot to give the Bandits the 1-0 lead as Brooks would open the scoring in all 3 game so far. The shots were 11-11 after 20 minutes as the Saints would trail Brooks by a goal heading into the second period.
The first half of the second period the Saints really took control of this game. They outshot Brooks 12-1 at one point in the period, but Pierce Charleson was spectacular, keeping it a a goal game. Everything was going well for the Saints in the second period, but after the media timeout, Brooks found their legs again and suddenly got new life. After being outshot 12-1, Brooks ended the period outshooting the Saints 15-13, they had the puck in the Saints zone for almost the whole second half of the period. The Saints couldn’t get control of the puck enough to make a play as Brooks was just too fast and on top of them. The Bandits would get two goals in the second as Corson Ceulemens would get both of them, one with 4 minutes left and with a minute left. The Saints would get a little bit of life with less than a second left. Cam Mitchell would beat the buzzer as the Saints would get on the board before heading into the second period.
Cam Mitchell’s buzzer beater would unfortunately be the only one the Saints could manage to get by Pierce Charleson. Brooks would add two more in the third period to take Game 3 by a final score of 5-1. Andrew Lucas would get his second of the night off a scramble in front and Tyler Campbell would pick the corner on Matt Davis to put the game away. Both goaltenders played great in this game, Matt Davis, despite giving up 5 goals, made a number of terrific saves a night long. Almost all of Brook’s 5 goals were great plays and Davis was not to solely blame for this game. The Saints didn’t quit at any point in this game, it wasn’t a matter of effort it was a matter of they just got plain beaten. They struggled winning any possession battles for loose pucks and that made it tough for them to get out of there own zone, leading to Brooks controlling the play in the offensive zone.
With their backs against the wall for the first time in these playoffs, the Saints will try to fend off elimination tomorrow night. Game 4 of this series goes at 7:00 PM here at the Grant Fuhr Arena, tickets available on the Saints website.