Saints Beat Bobcats 4-2 for Back to Back Victories
By: Adam Kulak
After an OT thriller in Drayton Valley a week ago, the Saints follow it up with a 4-2 victory over the Lloydminster Bobcats for their second straight win. Conroy, Biro, Nicholetts and Cooley would find the back of the net and Maxence Duchesne would stop 18 of 20 shots as the Saints head home with 2 big points.
It wasn?t quite the start that the Saints were looking for in this game. Before the puck would even drop, they would already be down shorthanded from a warmup violation, looking to kill a penalty before the game even started. They would kill the penalty off, but it took them a little while to really get going after that.
It was a bit of a sloppy period for the Saints, they struggled to make plays out of their zone and gave the Bobcats plenty of chances off turnovers. There first goal of the game was a result of one of those turnovers as Alex Danis would open the scoring 3 minutes in. He would create the turnover and beat Maxence Duchesne over the shoulder to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead early in this game.
Fortunately for the Saints, they would get a powerplay opportunity late in the period and they were able to capitalize. Ryan Conroy would blast a one timer from the right point that found its way through as the Saints were able to find the back of the net and tie this game before the end of the period. It was a big goal as the period would end in a 1-1 tie, shots in the period were 10-7 in favor of the Saints.
The middle frame played out kind of similar to the first period, as Lloydminster opened the scoring again with Tanner Mack putting one home on the powerplay to give the Bobcats back the lead. The Saints were able to kill the first penalty off, but they couldn?t quite escape this one as Bobcats make it 2-1.
The Saints did a better job in this period of getting more quality shots, especially in the second half of the period. Their powerplay was clicking through two periods of this game as they would go 2/2 through 40 minutes. After some good puck movement and chances, Ryan Conroy would open space and slide it over to Jordan Biro who beat Josh Dias from the top of the circle to tie this game back up at 2.
After that powerplay marker, the Saints started to really put the pressure on, and they had several very good looks out front. They would only manage that one goal late, but they would start to build momentum going into the third period. Shots after two periods were 19-16 for the Saints as they head into the final 20 minutes tied at 2.
The Saints carried their pressure and strong play into the third period as they completely took over the game. They dominated the third period and could have had 4 or 5 goals if not for some fantastic saves from Josh Dias. They outshot the Bobcats 21-4 and managed to find the back of the net twice to secure this game.
The first goal of the period came just 39 seconds in, and it was one of the prettiest plays we?ve seen this season. Gamache, Peckford and Nicholetts would combine on a beautiful tic tac toe play with Nicholetts tapping it in backdoor to give the Saints a 3-2 lead. That would be 15 goals on the season for the brand-new Alaska Fairbanks commit as the Saints take their first lead of the night.
They would get a powerplay shortly after the goal as the Bobcats would go off for tripping under a minute into the period. The Saints didn?t score on this one but their powerplay looked very good all night long. They scored on their first 2 and went 2/3 on the evening, they were moving the puck very well through seams and getting traffic in front of the net. Their powerplay has looked good at certain points this season and it played a big role in this win tonight.
With under 3 minutes to play, Stanley Cooley would get the insurance marker as he rips one from the slot off a feed from Jordan Biro to help put the game away as the Saints defeat the Bobcats by a final score of 4-2.
The first half of the game was not the Saints best, but they bounced back from it and late in the second and in the third, they put on a clinic. They were struggling to get out of their zone and couldn?t generate a lot of dangerous chances at the start of the game, but they turned that around and dominated the play. They had more Grade A shots in the third period then they did in the first two periods combined and it would have been more than 4-2 if not for the great play of Josh Dias in net for Lloydminster.
The Saints will head home and get ready for another game this Sunday at home. In the second last home game of the season, they will welcome the Grande Prairie Storm for a Sunday afternoon matchup, puck drop is 2:00 PM at the Grant Fuhr Arena