The Spruce Grove Saints came into tonight’s game after winning their home opener less than 24 hours ago at home. They would look to do much of the same in the first away game of the season. Last night’s 4-1 victory also marked Maxwell Beckford’s first AJHL victory and Ewan McPherson’s first AJHL goal.
The first period started off with Zac Onyskiw making great saves in tight to keep the game tied just five minutes in. Both teams wouldn’t budge defensively throughout the opening frame as the goalies would remain perfect until Josh Rule broke the tension for the Crusaders late in the frame. The Saints would trail 1-0 after 20 minutes and the shots would be tied 9-9.
Both clubs would continue their solid defensive play all the way through the first 10 minutes of the 2nd period, odd man chances and breakaways were all denied. The Crusaders, Ashton McNelly, would be the one to score from the right circle to bring the Sherwood Park lead to 2-0 halfway through the game. Spruce Grove would lead in shots 20-17 after 2 periods of play, but trailed 2-0.
The final period of the game saw the Saints score just seconds into the frame to cut the lead in half. Caiden Gault would score from the slot on the power play that carried over from the previous period. Caiden Gault would again be the one to score on another power play with 10 minutes left in the game to tie it at 2-2. Caden Cabana would then be the one to give the Saints their first lead of the game with 7 minutes left. Caiden Gault would get his first hat trick of the year with an empty net goal with 1 minute left. Liam Watkins would also add an empty net goal to bring the final score to 5-2 for Spruce Grove. The Saints would hold off the Crusaders offensive effort late to win their second game in a row. Final shots in the game favoured the Saints, with a total of 32-22.
The Saints next game is September 22nd at the Grant Fuhr Arena to start a three-game set against the Lloydminster Bobcats. Secure your tickets online at tickets.sprucegrovesaints.ca.