By Terry Martin
The Saints entered tonight’s game against the Okotoks Oilers winners of 10 straight and sitting at the top of the AJHL North Division standings. The Pontiacs and the Oil Barons both sit 4 points behind the Saints in the standings. The Oilers are just coming off an overtime win on Tuesday night against the Canmore Eagles. The Oilers sit 4th in the South with 19 points, having won 9 games and losing 10. The last time these two teams met up was in the AJHL showcase where the Oilers won 3-2 in regulation.
Both teams would bring a great pace to the game, leading to some exciting back-and-forth action. Luigi Benincasa would score just less than 30 seconds into the game to open the scoring for the second time in as many games. Cody Pisarczyk would add to the lead with a great shot over the glove of the Oilers goalie for his 6th goal of the season. Jayden Davis would then finish off a great passing play on one of their power play opportunities to put the Saints up 3-0 late in the period. The Saints would also lead 14-8 on the shot clock heading into the second period.
The Saints would again score just a few seconds into the period as Caiden Gault would bang home a rebound just as their power play chance expired. Liam Watkins would also score on a power play opportunity, tipping in a Benincasa slapshot to put the Saints up 5-0. After a huge scramble in front of the net, the Oilers would finally put themselves on the score board, just barely getting the puck across the goal line. The Saints would lead 5-1 and end the period with 28 shots while the Oilers ended up with 17.
For the third period in a row, the Saints would again score on their first shift of the period as Brett Pfoh would snipe the puck bar down on the power play. Jaden Senkoe would then get his first goal as a Saint after jamming home his own rebound to put the team up 7-1. Brett Pfoh would then get his 2nd goal of the game after a similar play that resulted in Senkoe’s goal. Rieger Lorenz would then score off a broken play behind the Saints net for his 2nd goal of the game. Spruce Grove would still hold off the Oilers and go on to win 8-2, while also finishing the game in the lead in shots, 42-32.
The Saints will take on the Brooks Bandits Saturday night to finish their 7-game home stand. The Saints will look to continue their perfect record at the Grant Fuhr Arena, while also trying to add onto their current 11-game win streak. The Bandits have a 19-game win streak of their own and they also have the most points in the AJHL.