Saints explode in the Second Period, blowing out the Wolverines 7-3.

Saints explode in the Second Period, blowing out the Wolverines 7-3.

By: Adam Kulak

It was kind of a tale of two teams tonight for the Saints.  After a sloppy first half of the game, the Saints came out in the second half and shocked the Whitecourt Wolverines with an offensive outburst in the second period. 

They kept rolling off that big period on route to a 7-3 victory and their 5th win in a row here at the Grant Fuhr Arena.  Matt Davis would get the start again in goal and Vincent Duplessis would start at the other end for Whitecourt.  Now for those of you who are wondering, let?s tell the Tale of two teams here in this game.

First Period

There was no score after 20 minutes, but the Saints didn?t quite have the start that they wanted in this game.  With the puck they were a bit sloppy at times and struggled to cleanly exit their zone consistently.  This led to turnovers and regrouping more often than they would have liked, giving Whitecourt opportunities to take control of the game or open the scoring.

Without the puck however, the Saints were very solid and limited Whitecourt?s opportunities.  They had very good sticks, they picked off several passes and broke up a lot of plays coming into their zone.  Neither team could generate much offense in the period, the shots were 8-6 in favor of the home team, but the game would stay scoreless.

Second Period

It was much different game in the second period and I?m going to need some time to get to it all.  Things again didn?t start out great for the Saints, it was the Wolverines who jump out to a 2-0 early in the middle frame.  3 minutes in, Nolan Doell would beat Matt Davis off a cross crease to open the scoring.  A little over 3 minutes later, Cassidy Bowes burst in on the breakaway and would make no mistake, as Whitecourt grabbed full control of this game.

The Saints were coming unhinged defensively as they were giving up a lot of chances off the rush.  Bram Stephen called a timeout after Whitecourt?s second goal as they were in danger of letting this game get away.  I?m sure that every Saints fan here at the Grant Fuhr Arena would like to know what he said during that timeout because after that, a switch was flipped, and the Saints looked like a completely different team.

At 8:43 of the period, Cam Mitchell would win a race to the puck, outmuscle a Whitecourt defender and one time it over the pad of Vincent Duplessis, getting the Saints on the board.  Midway through the period, Ryan Peckford would fly through the neutral zone and cut to the net, putting a shot on goal and Cole Basnett would get a stick on it to tie the game at 2.
Under a minute later, Peckford would break into the zone again and set up Ethan Edwards back door as the Saints just like that grab the lead in this game.  If you think the Saints were done there, oh just you wait.

13 seconds later, Cam Mitchell would set up Cole Basnett for his 2nd of the game.  And then 2 minutes later, Peckford would set up Sam Popowich back door for his first goal in the AJHL.  That would complete an explosion of 5 goals in just over 7 minutes, stunning the Whitecourt Wolverines after 40 minutes of play.

Third Period

The Saints didn?t take their foot off the gas in the third period.  They added two more goals in final frame to put an exclamation mark on this game.  Peckford would set up Popowich again for his 2nd of the game and then in the later half of the period, Peckford would pull a dazzling move on the defender for his 2nd, completing a 5-point night for him.

Eric Perneel would add another one for Whitecourt late in the period, but the Saints finished things off with authority.  They outshot Whitecourt 40-19 in this game, and they have now opened the season with 5 straight victories.

The Saints had multi point performances from 5 different guys in this one.  It was an all-around effort from everybody, with 10 different players getting on the scoresheet.  The Saints are feeling it right now to start this season and they will look to continue it on Monday.

They will travel down to Grande Prairie Monday afternoon for their first meeting of the season with the Storm, you can listen live on the Saints radio network starting at 7:15pm.