Saints Beat Oil Barons 5-3 to Sweep Road Trip
By: Adam Kulak
It was the same result as the night before, but the Saints accomplished it in a different way. After digging themselves a hole early in Bonnyville, the Saints had a much better game from start to finish as they beat the Fort McMurray Oil Barons by a final score of 5-3. Brett Trentham would drop back to play defense, as Ryan Peckford would return to the lineup after a 4-game suspension. Max Duchesne would get the start in goal looking for his 10th win on the season.
The Saints came out and got off to a much better start in this game compared to last night. They were outshooting the Oil Barons 11-3 at one point and they were taking the play to Fort McMurray for most of the period. There were 5 penalties in the first period between the two teams, 3 for the Saints and 2 for the Oil Barons. It was the second powerplay that the Saints were able to capitalize on as Ryan Peckford would absolutely snipe one top corner from the left circle, opening the scoring for the Saints on the road.
Unfortunately, the Oil Barons would get on the board a few minutes later on a powerplay of their own. The Saints would get called for tripping; they were able to kill off the first two penalties, but Fort McMurray made them pay on number 3. Hunter Lamb at the side of the net would be the beneficiary as the Oil Barons tie this game back up.
Just as we thought the period would end in a 1-1 tie, Peckford would come back into the lineup after serving a suspension and immediately respond with two goals in the first period. He would come down the right wing and rip another one past Cameron Beson to give the Saints back the lead with 35 second left in the first. The shots in the period were 15-8 for the Saints as they hold a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play.
The Saints once again had a very strong start to the period, getting the first 5 shots of the period and getting a goal early. 3 minutes in, Stanley Cooley would drive to the net and Brecon Wood would pick up the rebound for his first with the Saints, making it a 3-1 game. The Saints were doing a good job of shutting Fort McMurray down in transition. Once they got to the blueline or into the zone, the Saints were closing gaps quickly and not letting them have a lot of time.
They only had one slip up defensively in the period, as Tyler Wallace would answer later in the period with a sweet move and finish on Max Duchesne. Fort McMurray didn?t have a lot of dangerous chances, but they took advantage of that one and just like that, it was back to a one goal game. Right after that goal, the Saints would put them on a powerplay with a chance to tie the game, but Duchesne and the penalty killers came up huge with a big kill to preserve the lead.
The Saints put up a lot of shots in the first half of the period things slowed down a bit as the period went on. The shots ended up being 8-6 in the period and 23-14 overall as the Saints would go into the intermission with a one goal lead again.
The Oil Barons started the third period strong trailing by a goal, and they managed to find the tying goal early. 2:30 in, the former Saint Riley Bodnarchuk would fire a shot from the point and it somehow found its way through everybody to tie this game up at 3. Fortunately, the 3-3 tie would not last long, just over a minute later, Ethan Edwards comes down from the point, receives a pass from Reid Schaefer behind the net and just like that the Saints snag the lead right back.
Fort McMurray came out with an early push but that was all they could generate in the third period. The Saints continued their defensive pressure in the third period and held them to just 11 shots in the final 2 periods of this game. With just over a minute left, Brayden Nicholetts would beat Cameron Beson in front of the net to get the insurance marker and secure this win.
As the final horn sounded, the Saints would sweep the weekend road trip with back to back 5-3 victories as they take down the Oil Barons for their 4th win in 5 meetings between them. Max Duchesne was solid in net tonight; he probably would?ve liked the 3rd goal back but he made several big saves in the game including a breakaway stop in the first period.
Final shots were 31-19 as the it was a good defensive performance from the Saints tonight. They had a much better start tonight; they had a strong effort from start to finish and were rewarded for it. They have now won 5 of 6 games in January and will look to keep it going this week. The Saints are back home Tuesday night as they host the Grande Prairie Storm, puck drop is 7:00 PM.