By Terry Martin
The Saints looked to continue their hot streak as they look to make it 9 wins in a row tonight at home vs. Grande Prairie. This game also marked the first time that Spruce Grove and Grande Prairie have faced each other this season. The Saints would also look to secure their first-place position, as the Oil Barons and Pontiacs are only 2 points behind. The Storm come into tonight playing their 2nd of 3 games in 3 days. Grande Prairie lost to the Crusaders 4-3 last night and they would not want to make it two in a row.
The Saints would score on their first shot of the game for the 2nd night in a row, Caiden Gault would be the one to finish off a great passing play below the circle. Will Holland would then score just a few minutes later to get his first AJHL goal, a special moment for him as his family was in town from North Carolina. Connor Rooney would cut the Saints lead down, scoring on a rebound with about 3 minutes remaining in the period. The Saints would hold onto the lead but enter the 2nd period trailing in shots 7-11.
The Storm would score just a few seconds into the 2nd period, Ethan Strang capitalizes on a turnover deep in the Saints zone. Pfoh would quickly retake the lead for the Saints as he would sneak the puck past Storm goalie. Hunter Brown would add to the Saints lead, powering his way to the net and scoring to put the team up by 2. The Storm would battle back and get back within 1 goal, Robert Pizzey would score on the Grande Prairie Power Play. Grayden Alexander would then score the 5th combined goal for both teams within the first 10 minutes to tie the game 4-4. Max Beckford would then enter the game, almost exactly halfway through the game. Nikola Jovanovic scores on a set faceoff play during the teams first full power play to retake the lead again for the Saints. Spruce Grove would hold onto the 5-4 lead heading into the final frame, and they would tie the Storm in shots 20-20.
Both teams’ goalies would make some incredible saves throughout the final period to keep the score the same. It would take a Saints power play late in the game for the Saints to take a 2-goal lead. Luigi Benincasa found himself backdoor where he would make no mistake for his 11th goal of the season to put the Saints up 6-4. The Storm would then score right before the buzzer, but the Saints would still win 6-5.
Spruce Grove wins their 9th game in a row and stays perfect at the Grant Fuhr Arena. The Saints now look forward to the Lloydminster Bobcats on Tuesday for a 7:00 pm start right back at the GFA.