Saints beat Oil Barons 5-2 in heated affair.
By: Adam Kulak
The Saints avenged a 3-2 defeat to the Oil Barons last weekend in Fort McMurray with a 5-2 victory on this Thanksgiving afternoon. It was a chippy game with emotions running high between both clubs.
These two teams don?t like each other very much and having now played each other 4 times already to start the season, things were going to start developing between the two teams. Evan Fradette would start for Fort McMurray and Max Duchesne would get the nod between the pipes for the Saints.
The Saints had more opportunities to lead this game, but the Oil Barons were opportunistic on their chances. The Saints looked discombobulated for most of the period, they were out of sync at times, they were bobbling the puck and they gave Fort McMurray multiple chances to get ahead in this game.
It was Fort McMurray who would strike first as Tyler Wallace would beat Max Duchesne off a feed in front as the Oil Barons open the scoring 6 minutes into the game. Fort McMurray was undisciplined in the period and gave the Saints several great chances, but they looked like they were beating themselves for most of the period.
They were able to capitalize on their second Powerplay as Ryan Peckford would let a one timer go from the top of the circle to tie the game up at 1. That would only last less than 30 seconds as Tyler Wallace would beat everyone and score in alone for his second of the game, giving Fort McMurray the lead right back.
The Saints outshot the Oil Barons 11-6 in the period because of all the Powerplays, but they didn?t quite have full control of the game. Colson Gengenbach would rip home his 2nd in as many games with a wrister from the slot as the period would end with a 2-2 tie after 20 minutes.
The Saints came out and looked much more organized in the second period. They were making cleaner plays; they were moving the puck quick and getting out of their zone better. This allowed them to really get their game going in the offensive zone as they started to establish a lot more possession time in Fort McMurray?s end.
Halfway through the period, the Saints would take their first lead of the game. After staying silent for a few games, their Powerplay would start to come alive this afternoon with their second goal on the man advantage.
Ryan Peckford would go cross ice to Loeden Schaufler for a shot on goal and Tanner Klassen picked up the rebound on the doorstep for his 3rd on the season. Fort McMurray didn?t get as many quality chances in the period as the Saints outshot them 16-3 in the middle frame.
That would be all the scoring in the period as the Saints now hold a 3-2 lead over the Oil Barons going into the third period.
Things got very heated in the third period to say the least. To give you an idea, there was 144 penalty minutes handed out in the game and 88 of them came in the final frame. Ryan Peckford would try an break into the zone and would get taken down by a Fort McMurray defender and that would set off a whole chain reaction.
Tanner Klassen would grab onto a Oil Baron and Ethan Edwards and Nick Leyer would also get mixed up with a few players as everything would break down. 54 penalty minutes came from that sequence alone with multiple players getting 10-minute misconducts as emotions would flare high.
Just a minute later after the play, Brayden Nicholetts would drop the gloves with Oil Baron defender Konrad Belcourt after something that has been brewing throughout the game. Aside from all the altercations, the Saints added two more goals in the period.
Grahame Gamache would find Nick Leyer streaking to the net as he would slide it five hole on Evan Fradette to extend the lead to two goals. Loeden Schaufler would add the other with under 2 minutes to play as his point shot would find a way through to cap off the 5-2 victory.
After a shaky first period, the Saints responded with a strong final 40 minutes in a heated affair. Ryan Peckford had another big night with 3 points and after giving up two in the first, Max Duchesne was solid the rest of the way and made the big saves when called upon late in the game.
11 players all chipped in offensively as the Saints would bounce back from a 3-2 loss to the Oil Barons last weekend. They will hit the road this coming Friday and they are back here Saturday, as they get ready for a home and home with the Bonnyville Pontiacs.