Saints Comeback to Win 3-2 over Wolverines
By: Adam Kulak
After falling 3-2 to the Wolverines here in Whitecourt on Monday, the Saints get their revenge in the rematch here tonight. It was a hard-fought game all night long, the Saints would fall down 2-0 early in the game but they would battle back in the third period to take this game in Overtime. Matt Davis would get his 28th victory on the season by stopping 21 of 23 shots. Seth Fyten and Olson Werenka would score in the third and Jordan Biro would end it in sudden death as the Saints get right back into the win column.
? Spruce Grove Saints (@sgsaints) February 22, 2020
The first 5 minutes of this game saw the Saints take a penalty and give up a powerplay goal. Brayden Labant would put a shot on net and the puck would sit right on the doorstep for Ethan Leyer to put it in as Whitecourt jumps out to a 1-0 lead early. The Saints would get two straight powerplays of their own right after the goal to try and answer back. They had a couple good chances, but they couldn?t quite execute on them. They had a few quick passing plays that resulted in the puck bouncing on them when shooting or Whitecourt would block the shot and clear the puck.
The Saints experienced some bad luck with bounces off the back boards back in December and they would experience it once more here tonight. Matt Davis went to play the puck and it bounced right out front to Ryan Wallz with a yawning cage, making it 2-0 for the Wolverines.
Despite what the score would tell you, the Saints played a much better first period then they did on Monday. They were able to generate offensive zone pressure, they didn?t take as many penalties, and they created several chances off the cycle. They fired 16 shots on Vincent Duplessis, but the Goaltender of the Year finalist had an answer for all of them. The Saints applied a lot of pressure late in the period and they will look to build on that in the second to try and get back in this game.
The Saints continued this pressure into the middle frame, they were recovering loose pucks and maintaining pressure in the offensive zone. Their best chance at getting back in this game as Whitecourt would get a 5-minute major for a hit to the head. They were getting Vincent Duplessis moving from post to post with cross seam passes but he was able to get over and stop those attempts.
The Saints just couldn?t take advantage of a 5-minute powerplay and that really hurt them in this game. They were really putting the pressure on and fired 18 shots in the period, but they couldn?t find a way to execute. The Saints held the Wolverines to 7 shots in the period and only 2 through almost half a period. They were stopping the Wolverines in transition and denying several attempts to get set up in the offensive zone. This allowed them to maintain the puck and push the play back the other way.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the second period. The shots were 18-7 in the period and 34-14 overall for the Saints, but they would still find themselves off the scoresheet going into the final frame.
I said it in the first period that the Saints were playing better than the score indicated. After 2 periods of running into a brick wall, the Saints broke through in a big way during period #3. The Saints would finally solve Vincent Duplessis 12 minutes into the third, Seth Fyten would turn and fire a shot from the high slot, and it made its way through a screen to cut the Wolverines lead in half.
After playing 52 minutes and not scoring, the Saints would only need less than a minute to pot home 2 goals to immediately turn the tide of this game. Olson Werenka would come in from the point, get a shot on net and then get his own rebound as the Saints shock the Wolverine fans with goals just 39 seconds apart to tie this game at 2.
The Saints would have to kill off another penalty with a few minutes to play, but the period would end, and these two teams would have to settle this game in extra time. Shots were 46-23 for the Saints after 60 minutes as they try and pull out a victory here on the road.
The Saints would only need 41 seconds of overtime to find the back of the net. Ethan Edwards would burst down the left wing, stop up behind the net and he would set up Jordan Biro streaking in as the Saints complete the comeback with a 3-2 victory here in Whitecourt.
The Saints had to battle through adversity in this game in order to get the two points. They gave up an early powerplay goal and had a bad bounce go against them, but they continued to battle. Both goaltenders had strong performances tonight, Matt Davis was very good in net as well for the Saints. He didn?t really have much chance on either of Whitecourt?s goals, but he made several big saves throughout the game, giving the Saints a chance to comeback.
The Saints are back in action Sunday afternoon, they will head up the highway for an afternoon matchup with the Sherwood Park Crusaders. Puck drop is at 2:15 PM at the Sherwood Park Arena.