By Terry Martin
Photo: Em Duncan
The Spruce Grove Saints entered the AJHL Showcase tonight with a record of 4-0-1 and would play their first game against the Okotoks Oilers (2-2) in the primetime matchup in Brooks.
The Saints would end up on the power play 5 minutes into their first showcase game and Logan Acheson would lead the charge, scoring from the right dot to give Spruce Grove the early lead. Rieger Lorenz would then score off an end wall bounce to tie the game with 14:50 left in the 1st period. Both teams would be tied after a highly energetic 20 minutes and the Saints trailed in shots 8-6 to the Oilers.
The second period started with more than a few great saves by Max Beckford to keep the game tied, including a couple glove saves on breakaways. The Oilers would capitalize later in the period on their power play as Conyr Hellyer scores from the slot to put Okotoks up 2-1. Carter Massier would then come down the sidewall late and score with 3:28 left in the 2nd period to put the Oilers up 3-1 after 40 minutes of play.
In the final period of the game both teams would not allow any goals or chances through the first 10 minutes. The Saints and Oilers would trade power plays but nothing would come of it. Niko Jovanovic scored late in the period just seconds after the Saints pulled their goalie to cut the Oilers lead to 3-2. The Saints would only need one more goal to tie the game but would come up short, resulting in their first regulation game of the season.
Spruce Grove will battle the Brooks Bandits tomorrow night at 7:30pm in their final game at the AJHL showcase. Saints fans can catch all the action on the Saints Radio Network (mixlr.com/sprucegrovesaints) starting at 7:15pm.