By Terry Martin
The Saints and Storm took each other on for the last time this regular season as Spruce Grove looked to complete the season sweep of Grande Prairie. The Saints have outscored the Storm 30-16 this year while winning every game in regulation except for their most recent overtime victory. This game also marks the 5th time both teams have played each other in the past 2 months.
The Saints would be the ones to strike first in tonight’s contest as Hunter Brown broke free at his own blueline and scores on the shorthanded breakaway to put the Saints up 1-0. The Saints and Storm would trade power plays throughout the period but no one else would find the back of the net. Spruce Grove would lead 1-0 in the game and 9-6 on the shot clock after 20 minutes of play.
Both teams would trade some high-quality chances throughout the first 10 minutes of the period and Zac Onyskiw would make some great saves to preserve the lead. Brett Pfoh would make it 2-0 after squeaking the puck through the goalies’ arm for his 27th goal of the season halfway through the game. Nikola Jovanovic would then score on a great individual effort shortly after to put the Saints up by 3. The Saints would add 2 goals and keep the Storm to only 2 shots on net in the period. Spruce Grove would lead 3-0 on the score board and 19-8 in shots after 40 minutes of play.
Jacob Rochford would open the scoring in this period for the Saints with just 10 minutes remaining in the game. Rochford found himself alone on the left circle and he would fire the puck off the back bar to give the Saints a 4-0 lead. Jayden Davis would then fire the puck blocker side from the slot to put the team up by 5 goals. The Saints hold onto the 5-0 win and Zac Onyskiw records his 2nd shutout of the season. Spruce Grove would end up on top in shots 29-11 after 60 minutes of play.
The Saints extend their win streak to 10 games as they head into the playoffs in search of their 6th AJHL championship. Spruce Grove has secured the 1st round bye and will play game 1 of the 2nd round on March 18 against the lowest remaining seed.