Saints Close out Storm in Game 6 with 4-0 Victory
By: Adam Kulak
After a wild Game 5 win in Triple Overtime, the Saints exercised their demons of Revolution Place with a convincing 4-0 victory here in Game 6. They got the scoring started early and they opened things up big time in the second period, winning in Grande Prairie for the first time since September. The same lineup that won Game 5 would stay intact for Game 6 and Matt Davis would get the 16 save shutout, as the Saints are heading to the second round of the playoffs.
It's official – the Saints will take on the @WolverinesJrA in the Viterra North Division Semi Finals. Stay tuned for series schedule and when tickets will be available! #Mission6 pic.twitter.com/1Hc23Fw9Br
— Spruce Grove Saints (@sgsaints) March 11, 2020
The Saints came out in the opening 20 minutes with their best period of the playoffs so far. The shots were 10-0 less than 5 minutes into the game, the Saints jumped on the Storm right away and continued that throughout the period. They were playing with speed and they were moving the puck quick and efficiently. They didn?t give Grande Prairie much time and space, they struggled getting out of their zone for a good amount of the period because of the Saints forecheck and neutral zone pressure.
It wouldn?t take long for the Saints to get out to a 1-0 lead as they would light the lamp 4 minutes into the period. The man who played the triple overtime hero in Game 5 would get things rolling in Game 6. Zach Douglas?s point shot would bounce off the back boards right to Cole Basnett in front of the net as he would make no mistake for his 3rd of the playoffs, opening the scoring in this game.
The Storm started to get more chances later in the period, the Saints would put them on the powerplay 3 times in the period and they were able to try and get back into this game. There were a couple close calls, but the Saints penalty killers did an excellent job of limiting their opportunities and holding them to just 6 shots in the period. The Saints would get 15 shots of their own as they lead Game 6 by a score of 1-0 after 20 minutes.
Things would keep getting worse for the Storm and better for the Saints in period #2. The Saints once again scored early in the period, as Adam Hall with a nice spin pass would find Tanner Klassen out front and he beat Kaeden Lane over the left shoulder. Make that 2 in the series for Klassen as the Saints start to run away with things.
The Storm started to look deflated in this period and they didn?t have much energy or jump. To make things worse, they would take a major penalty for a check from behind, giving the Saints 5 minutes of powerplay time. With the extended man advantage, the Saints would put away 2 more goals to put this game out of reach.
30 seconds in, Jordan Biro would find Seth Fyten in the slot as he redirects the pass five-hole for goal #1 on the major powerplay. The Saints would take a penalty shortly after to make it 4v4 for 2 minutes. But with a minute left in the major, Stanley Cooley would put in the rebound on the doorstep to make this a 4-0 game.
You couldn?t have asked for a better first 2 periods for the Saints, they have had the puck all game long and their offense is finally clicking for the first time since Game 2. Shots in the period were 14-5 and 29-11 overall after 40 minutes, as the Saints are right in the driver seat going into the final frame.
After a strong offensive performance in this game, the Saints would shut things down in the third period. They continued to play the same way defensively all night and they didn?t allow anything in the last 20 minutes. Matt Davis was solid when called upon for his 2nd shutout of the series as the Saints close out Game 6 with a big 4-0 victory, taking the series 4-2.
This was one of the craziest first round series that the Saints have had in a long time. 4 of the 6 games were one goal contests and 3 of the games were decided in overtime, including Double OT in Game 3 and Triple OT in Game 5. Congratulations to the Grande Prairie Storm for playing terrific in this series. They battled hard in each game and they made this a closer series then almost anyone would have predicted.
As for the Saints, they saved their best game for last here as they put on a dominant display. After a frustrating Games 3 and 4 up here in Grande Prairie, the Saints came back hungry to put this away. They were ready to go right from the drop of the puck and continued that level of play all night, looking motivated to close the series out in Game 6. They will now have a couple days rest before they get ready for the Whitecourt Wolverines. Games 1 and 2 get going this weekend back home at the Grant Fuhr Arena for Round 2 of the AJHL Playoffs.