Saints Drop 3-1 Decision to Wolverines
By: Adam Kulak
After a 7-4 shootout in Spruce Grove the night before, the goals dried up tonight on the road. Unfortunately, it dried up more for the visitors than it did for the home side, the Saints would open the scoring early but fail to create more as they drop the second half of the home and home with the Whitecourt Wolverines.
It was a good start to the period for the Saints, they had the first 6 shots of the game and they were spending a lot of time in the offensive zone. They managed to get an early powerplay and Jordan Biro would capitalize on it just 5 seconds into the man advantage, giving the Saints the early 1-0 lead.
After the first 5 minutes of the game, that?s when things started to go sideways a bit for the Saints. Whitecourt would score on their first powerplay as well as Ethan Green would come in from the point to beat Matt Davis, tying the game up at the 6-minute mark of the period. They started to get some jump in their game and just under 2 minutes later, they would grab the lead off a 2 on 1 rush.
Ethan Leyer would fly down the right wing and would make a nice cross crease pass to Bryce Osepchuk for the backdoor finish as Whitecourt grabs a hold of this game. After the Saints had a 6-0 lead in shots, they were 7-4 for Whitecourt the rest of the period. It was a much better showing from Whitecourt compared to last night in Spruce Grove.
The Saints had three more powerplay chances but failed to take advantage of any of them. The shots ended up being 10-7 for the Saints but they would be trailing after 20 minutes of play.
Neither team could find the back of the net as it continued to be a tight game on both sides. The Saints had two more powerplay chances early, but they could not solve Vincent Duplessis as he kept this game 2-1. The Saints powerplay looked very good to start the second period, they had several very good chances but either couldn?t pull the trigger or couldn?t elevate the puck or beat the goaltender.
Whitecourt would have two powerplays of their own later in the period, but Matt Davis and the Saints penalty killers were up to the test. They had one or two close calls, but they limited Whitecourt in opportunities to keep this game within a goal. Offense is not as easy to come by in this game and the Saints will have to find a way to break through in the third period if they want to win this game.
Shots in the period were 8-6 for the Saints and 18-13 overall as we head into the final 20 minutes of a one goal game.
The third period was more of the same as the second as the Saints put on pressure and created a lot of zone time, but they were unable to create enough scoring chances to tie this game. When they did get good looks, Vincent Duplessis was there to shut the door as he stopped 27 of 28 shots in this game.
The Saints tried to get this game knotted up but late in the third period, they were dealt the back breaker. Matt Davis went to play the puck on a routine dump in and the puck took a bad bounce right to the front of the net and Sam Anderson had an empty net to put home the insurance marker. Can?t blame anyone on that play as that was just an incredibly unfortunate bounce and that would unfortunately put the game away.
It was a very different game then the one the night before, it was a much tighter checking contest in this one as the Saints had trouble generating any offense in this game. They started each period well, but Whitecourt responded each time and played a fast, aggressive game tonight. The shots were 28-19 for the Saints but the quality chances were pretty close for both sides. Whitecourt took advantage of their chances in the first and got the bounce they needed to put the game away.
The Saints will now head into the Christmas Break and they will be back in action on December 30th as they host the Sherwood Park Crusaders at the Grant Fuhr Arena.