Saints Beat Canucks 4-1 to Start Road Trip
By: Adam Kulak
The Saints start off their 3-game road trip with a bang, coming into Calgary with a convincing performance. The Saints would get goals from 4 different players on route to a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Canucks. With 3 games in 3 nights, there was obviously going to be some lineup shuffling for this game and load management throughout the weekend.
After being acquired from Fort McMurray yesterday, Ryan Conroy and Jonathan Assayag would make their Saints debuts and Breck McKinley would make his AJHL debut on the blueline. Brayden Nicholetts would also return to the lineup from injury and Maxence Duchesne would start between the pipes looking for win #6 on the season.
The Saints came out and got the exact start that they wanted in the first period of this game. They jumped on Calgary right away and got a lot of pucks to the net. They were forcing a lot of turnovers; they were moving the puck well and they created a bunch of opportunities off the rush. The Canucks did a good job of keeping them to the outside, but they couldn?t manage to create anything or spend much time in the offensive zone.
The Saints started getting more quality looks as the period went on and with 5 minutes left in the period they would finally get on the board. A strong shift from Fyten, Leyer and Hall in the offensive zone and Nick Leyer would cycle it to Adam Hall who would then find Seth Fyten backdoor to open the scoring.
The Canucks would get a Powerplay opportunity late in the period, but it would be the Saints taking advantage. Logan Acheson would spring Tanner Klassen on a breakaway and he made no mistake, beating Connor Martin on the glove side to give the Saints a two-goal lead. The Saints will also start the second period on the Powerplay as Ethan Edwards would get tripped up in the neutral zone.
Shots in the period were 23-6 in favor of the Saints as they lead this game 2-0 after 20 minutes of play.
The Canucks had a better period in the second and created more opportunities than in the first. They would manage to get on the board at the 7-minute mark of the period as Carter Anderson would get his stick on a point shot from Joseph Grotsky, cutting the lead in half.
The Saints called a timeout to regroup after that goal and would get back to controlling the game. Two minutes later the Saints would come in on a 2 on 1 and it would be newly acquired Jonathan Assayag beating Connor Martin for his first goal as a member of the Saints. Ryan Conroy would also pick up a helper on the goal for his first point as well as the Saints regain the two-goal lead.
A two-goal lead wouldn?t be quite enough for the Saints going into the third, so they decided to get one more before the end of the period. Ethan Edwards point shot would have eyes as it found its way through several players with 4 minutes left in the period. That would be his 6th of the season as the Saints extend to a three-goal cushion.
Shots in the period were 13-10 for the Saints and 36-16 overall as they head into the final 20 minutes with a 4-1 lead.
There was no scoring in the third period but there wasn?t much of a shortage in chances. Both teams got multiple Powerplays in the final frame and were able to come close a couple times to adding to the goal total.
The Saints continued to do what they?ve done well all game, they continued to put the pressure on Calgary and create turnovers in the neutral zone and offensive zone. They had several opportunities in the period off counterattacks and quick transition plays.
The Saints couldn?t manage to get their Powerplay going in this game, but their Penalty Kill was solid, going 5/5 on the night. Max Duchesne was solid in net, stopping 23 of 24 shots and only the only goal he gave up was a redirect. Overall it was a strong performance by the Saints to start off their long road swing.
They are right back at it tomorrow night for Game 2 as they are in Canmore to take on the Eagles at the Canmore Recreation Centre.