By Terry Martin
The Saints were in reach of their franchises longest winning steak that was completed during the 2014-2015 season where they won 18 in a row. Spruce Grove has already won 15 games straight this season as they looked to move one step closer against the Lloydminster Bobcats tonight. The Saints are first place in the North with 22 wins and 46 points. The Bobcats are currently 6th in the North with 23 points and 11 wins. The Saints have won 4 out of 5 games against the Bobcats so far this season with their only loss coming in a shootout back in September in Lloydminster.
Neither team would score in the opening period as both goalies would stand tall in the crease as they would stop every shot that was fired towards them. Zac Onyskiw would only face 9 shots but would have to be sharp on all of them. The Saints would fire 17 shots of their own and Kolby Thornton of the Bobcats and he would be equal to the task.
Luigi Benincasa would finally break the tie as he would break towards the net and tip home his 16th goal of the season with 5 minutes to go in the 2nd period. The Saints would hold onto that lead through the rest of the period and Onyskiw would again hold off the Bobcats as they would outshoot the Saints in the period 8-12.
Liam Watkins would score the Saints 2nd goal of the game near the end of the 3rd period on one of the Saints power play opportunities, sniping the puck blocker side to give them a 2-goal lead. Chase Visser would then cut that Saints lead in half as he would score on his own rebound. Jayven Leslie would then tie the game for the Bobcats as he would score on one of their other power plays. Chad MacLean then scores quickly after for Lloydminster with 2 minutes left in the game to put the Bobcats up by 1 goal. The Saints would push to score the equalizing goal but would come up short to lose 3-2 and end their win streak at 15 games. The Saints would just outshoot the Bobcats 34-33 at the end of 60 minutes.
The Saints will look to get back into the win column on Saturday November 27th against the Calgary Canucks as they finish off their road trip. The Saints next home game will be on Tuesday November 30th against the Bonnyville Pontiacs as they look to keep the winning streak alive in the Grant Fuhr Arena.