By Terry Martin
The Spruce Grove Saints took on the Sherwood Park Crusaders tonight in search of their 7th straight win while also looking to go 7-0 at the Grant Fuhr Arena this season. The Saints also looked to move into sole possession of first place in the North division, as they were tied for first place going in. The Crusaders came into tonight on a three-game losing streak, including two games against the Oil Barons last weekend.
Luigi Benincasa would open the scoring for the Saints, shooting the puck bar down from the slot. Evan Arnold would then tie the game for the Crusaders, scoring a very similar goal to Luigi Benincasa. Ashton McNelly would then score with 1:30 left in the period to give Sherwood Park the 2-1 lead. Final shots in the first 20 minutes favoured the Crusaders as they double up on the Saints in chances leading 15-7 going into the second.
The Saints would again open the period scoring in the second period as Graeme Bryks would score on his breakaway for his first goal of the season. The Crusaders would regain the lead briefly, but Jayden Davis would score to tie the game once again. Logan Hauer would then score for Sherwood Park as they would again lead, this time 4-3 with 5 minutes left in the period. The Saints then tie the game once again, Coster Dunn would pick up his first AJHL goal with a perfect short side snipe. Both teams would head into the final frame tied 4-4 and the Crusaders would still lead 26-20 in shots.
Jayden Davis would again open the scoring for the Saints in the third period to give Spruce Grove the 5-4 lead. Davis would then score on the power play with an incredible move, spinning between the defenders and firing the puck just under the cross bar. Jayden Davis would then pot his hat trick goal on the power play to give the Saints their insurance marker. Jacob Rochford would add one more on the empty net as the Saints win their 7th straight game 7-4. Final shots in the game were 34-30 for the Crusaders.
The Saints remain unbeaten at the Grant Fuhr Arena and will look to continue that streak this Friday against the Whitecourt Wolverines at 7:00pm.
For the remaining home games this week, on Friday and Saturday, the Saints will be collecting new and used sporting equipment, in support of Sport Central & Dave’s Drive.