Saints Fall 3-2 to Wolverines
By: Adam Kulak
It was a crazy, penalty filled game here in Whitecourt, but the Saints weren?t able to come out on top in this one. Whitecourt put the Saints on their heels early, forced them into penalties and they just couldn?t get into a rhythm as their win streak ends at 5 games.
The road team media booth is in the right corner of the ice in the Saints end. We didn?t miss much of the action in the first 20 minutes as that?s where most of the period was played. Whitecourt came out fast and put the Saints on their heels early. They had strong pressure, they were moving the puck quick and they had a lot of possession time in the offensive zone.
Because they had the puck a lot, they were forcing the Saints into taking penalties trying to get it back and exit their zone. The Wolverines would get 5 powerplay opportunities in the period and it just kept snowballing from there. This game might have been 3-0 or 4-0 if it weren?t for Matt Davis, he was locked in during the first period and he and the penalty killers definitely had their work cut out for them.
After all the powerplays and chances the Wolverines had, the Saints bent but they didn?t break as they keep this game scoreless. Shots were 14-5 for the Wolverines as the Saints look to turn the tide in period #2.
After a tough first period, things started to turn around a bit for the Saints in the second. They would get their first powerplay of the afternoon early in the period and they would capitalize right away. Ryan Peckford would feed Cole Basnett in front of the net as the Saints strike first in this game.
That could have been a bit of a deflating goal for Whitecourt when they dominate up until that point and then give one up on their first penalty kill. But Whitecourt is a good team and they bounced back and didn?t let that get to them. They would tie the game up halfway through the period on their own powerplay, Ryan Wallz would bang in the puck on the doorstep to get things back to square one.
That?s when things started to unravel a bit for the Saints, as Whitecourt would answer with 3 goals in just over 3 minutes. Adam Sandstrom would extend the Wolverines lead to 2-1 off creating a terrific individual rush. The Saints started getting frustrated with how the game was being called and they took multiple undisciplined penalties here in the period.
Ethan Leyer would capitalize with a powerplay goal as the Wolverines extend their lead to 3-1. The Saints would get one back with another powerplay goal as Brayden Nicholetts would get the Saints back within one. The Saints put on a late push to try and tie the game, but the game would stay 3-2. Shots were 12-12 in the period and 26-17 overall as the Saints head into the third down 1.
Down by one goal, the Saints came out with everything they had in the third period, especially late. Whitecourt came out strong in the third as well, they continued to do what they?ve done all game long is use their speed to create turnovers and chances off the rush. They had several shots early in the period and a few partial breakaways.
The Saints as the period went on, started to put the pressure on and late in the period they really pushed hard. The last minute of the period was chaotic around the Wolverines net, Whitecourt was throwing themselves in front of everything and the Saints threw everything they had at Connor Ungar. It was a great effort late to tie this game, but the Saints would fall just short as the Whitecourt Wolverines win this one by a final score of 3-2, snapping their win streak at 5 games.
Positives to take away from this game was the Saints powerplay went 33% and they scored both of their goals on the powerplay in this game. Also, a big positive is Matt Davis was absolutely terrific in this game. They gave up three quick goals in the second, but things could have gotten ugly in the first period if he didn?t play the way he did. It could have been worse early, but Davis gave the Saints a chance to win this afternoon.
The Saints will be right back here Friday night for a rematch with the Wolverines, Puck drop is 7:00 PM here at the Scott Safety Centre.