By Terry Martin
The Spruce Grove Saints looked to get back into the win column tonight against the Camrose Kodiaks after Wednesday’s loss in Bonnyville. The Kodiaks are tied for 2nd in the AJHL South Division with 14 points and a 7-3-0 record. The Saints sit third in the AJHL North Division with a 7-3-1 record.
The Kodiaks would score first just under 2 minutes into the game after a weird bounce in front of the net caused the puck to sit behind Zac Onyskiw and then Roc Truman would tap it in. The Saints power play would then get a chance to tie the game as Brett Pfoh would set up Hunter Brown on the back door where he slid the puck five hole to tie the game. Caiden Gault would then give the Saints their first lead of the game with a great backhand shot from a tight angle. The Saints would continue to bring the pressure, Bryan McAndrews would score his first goal as a Saint to give the team a 3-1 lead heading into the second period. The Saints would lead in shots 10-7 after 20 minutes of play.
The Kodiaks would score first in the 2nd period as well, Callum Gau scoring on the power play to cut the Saint lead to just one with 16:05 left in the period. Robert Kincaid would also score on the Kodiaks power play, this time to tie the game 3-3. Logan Acheson would not let the Kodiaks continue to push back, as he would retake the lead for the Saints scoring from the blueline for his 3rd of the season. Braeden Virtue would then cause a lengthy delay, as he laid a huge hit on a Kodiak forward, shattering the glass. The Kodiaks would once again tie the game on one of their power plays as Ryan Sullivan would bury the rebound. Blake Kondor would add another for the Kodiaks, this time catching the Saints changing and scoring on the breakaway. Max Beckford would then be put in the game in place of Zac Onyskiw, looking to change the momentum. The score would remain 5-4 for the Kodiaks and both teams would be tied on the shot clock with 17.
The Saints came onto the ice for the final period, looking to tie the game back up after four Kodiak goals in the previous period. Liam Watkins would do just that, as he scored on the power play from a sharp angle to tie the game once again. Hunter Brown would then score his second goal of the game for another lead change as he capitalizes off an end board bounce. The story of the game would be lead changes, as both teams entered the final minutes of the game. Griffen Fraser would once again tie the game for the Kodiaks, now 6-6. The final shots after three periods would favour the Saints 30-25 as the game headed into overtime.
The game would eventually head to a shootout after an unsuccessful overtime period. Benincasa would score the only shootout goal for the Saints, while the Kodiaks would get two to win the game in the 5th round of the skills competition. The final score would be 7-6 for Camrose and the shot clock would be in favour of the Saints after the OT period, 35-30.
The Saints are back in action Saturday night at the Grant Fuhr Arena to face the Blackfalds Bulldogs for the first time in franchise history. Get your tickets here -> tickets.sprucegrovesaints.ca