HOME GAME 2 RECAP: SAINTS FIRE EARLY AND OFTEN TO EARN 5-2 WIN OVER THE CAMROSE KODIAKS
By Adam Kulak
After two slow starts and giving up the first goal in their first two games. The Saints came out flying as they cruise to a 5-2 win over the Camrose Kodiaks at Grant Fuhr Arena. They would pepper Kodiaks goaltender Griffin Bowerman with 45 shots as multiple players had big nights on the scoresheet. The one thing they could have improved on was discipline, as they took 6 minor penalties, including a 10-minute misconduct to Dylan Bourlai, but they played a very good overall game. Matthew Davis would get the start tonight after a good performance in the Home opener.
A much better start for the Saints tonight as they took it to the Kodiaks in the opening frame. They knew Camrose would be hungry for their first win of the season, it was important to start strong and they certainly did in this game. They were hard on the forecheck, creating turnovers behind the net and generated a lot of chances from the slot. Halfway through the frame, Parker Saretsky tries to cross crease it on a 2 on 1 and it goes off a Kodiak defenseman to give the Saints a 1-0 lead. The Saints would take two penalties to put themselves down 5 on 3 for half a minute, Matthew Davis and the penalty killers would do an excellent job of killing it off and keeping the 1-0 lead. Brett Trentham would break in shorthanded and drew a penalty shot giving the Saints a chance to go up by two, but he would be denied by goaltender Griffin Bowerman to keep it a one goal game. The Saints would continue to attack and would score two quick ones in the final minute of the period. Cory Babichuk would do his best Mathew Barzal impression as he skated a lap around the offensive zone and get a shot on goal which would bounce to Logan Ganie on the doorstep to put the Saints up 2-0. Just 30 second later, Stanley Cooley would fire a shot from the slot for his first goal as a Saint. Just like that, they would head to the locker room with a three-goal lead.
The Saints would continue their strong play in the second period. The Kodiaks had trouble with their speed all night and had trouble exiting and entering the zone. Kodiaks Zach Vinnell would go off for tripping giving the Saints their second powerplay of the game. They couldn’t capitalize but a few seconds after the penalty expired, TJ Lloyd would take a feed from Dylan Bourlai behind the net and would put the Saints up 4-0 halfway through the second period. They would get a 30 second powerplay as Gerrik Ripley would take a hooking penalty during Bruce MacGregor’s tripping minor. The Saints moved the puck well on their powerplays and were able to get shots through to the net for rebounds. They struggled with passes east/west and to the slot as Camrose did a good job of getting sticks in the passing lanes. The shots were 17-6 for the Saints in that period and were 30-11 after two periods.
Camrose came out strong in the third period. Carson Kurylo would get the Kodiaks on the board right before the penalty expired and Gerrik Ripley would break in and get his own rebound just seconds later to make it 4-2 early into the period. After giving up two quick ones early, the Saints would get back to playing the way they did in the first two periods. The Kodiaks struggled to get out of their own zone with control all game. The Saints would do a much better job of getting up the ice with possession which would lead to more shots and higher quality chances. Babichuk would fly down the wing and just ring it off the bar late in the period to almost put the Saints up by three. Babichuk was all over the place in this game, he was jumping up in the play every chance he got, made multiple good defensive plays and drew a couple penalties with his speed and aggressiveness, he like many players had a very strong game. Parker Saretsky would drive to the net and get taken down but still found a way to get the puck past Griffin Bowerman for the 5-2 lead. That would be the game as the Saints would cap off a dominant performance to improve to 3-0-0 on the Season. They took too many penalties, but their penalty killers were excellent all game. They were aggressive and kept a lot of chances to the outside. It might have been a closer game if the penalty killers struggled.
The Saints will start a 6-game road trip tomorrow night as they are in Grande Prairie Friday and Saturday to take on the Storm. They will be back home Sunday, October 7th at 2:00pm as they will welcome the Calgary Canucks.