By Terry Martin
The Spruce Grove Saints entered tonight’s game against the Crusaders winners of two in a row, looking to make it three. The Crusaders came into the game looking to get back in the win column after their recent 4-1 loss to the Bonnyville Pontiacs. The Saints are overall 2-0 against the Crusaders so far this year. Spruce Grove sits 2nd in the North division, while Sherwood Park is in 6th place.
The first period of the game saw no goals and an almost equal number of chances as the Saints would just lead the Crusaders 10-7 in shots after 20 minutes of play. The Saints would have four chances on the power play while the Crusaders would have two of their own. Onyskiw and Bylin both had to make some great saves in the period to keep the game tied.
Both team’s goalies would continue to keep the puck out of the net through the first 5 minutes of the second period. Zac Onyskiw would also stop his first penalty shot of his AJHL career to keep the game tied. Cody Pisarczyk would then score his 5th goal of the season and his 2nd goal in as many games to give the Saints their first lead of the game. Bruce MacGregor would score for the Crusaders after a tough bounce for the Saints goalie. The teams would head into the final frame tied 1-1 and Spruce Grove would just trail Sherwood Park 16-15 in shots.
The final period saw much more of that defensive play that both teams have shown throughout the game, however, the Saints would be the one to break the tension. Hunter Brown would score his 5th goal of the game after a couple bounces around the crease and the Saints would lead 2-1. Jayden Davis would then get the insurance marker late in the period right off the faceoff to give Spruce Grove a 3-1 lead. The Saints would also dominate on the shot clock 26-22 after 60 minutes of play.
The Saints are now winners of three in a row, while also winning all three games against the Crusaders early in the season. Spruce Grove now travels to Olds for a Saturday night game against the Grizzlys.