Saints Get Back in Win Column with 7-4 Victory over Wolverines
By: Adam Kulak
After two tough losses on the road, the Saints respond in a big way here on home ice. They put up 50 shots on net and win a convincing one, 7-4 over the Whitecourt Wolverines. Breck McKinley would come back into the lineup and Cole Basnett would return after missing the last few due to injury. Connor Ungar would start in net for Whitecourt and Matt Davis would be between the pipes looking for win #17 on the season.
It was a very successful period for the Saints as they take a two-goal lead through 20 minutes. They had 20 shots in the first period, but they also got a lot of quality scoring chances and not just quantity. They had several shots off quick puck movement and cross seam passes. The Saints would open the scoring just over midway through, they had two or three chances around the net and Grahame Gamache was their to put home the rebound, opening the scoring.
The Saints transition game was dominant in this period, they were creating chance after chance off breaking up plays at their blueline and off the rush. That?s exactly how they would get their second goal. The Saints stopped the play at the blueline, and Tanner Klassen would come back the other way. With just a second left, he would come down the right wing, try and centre the puck and would bank it in off Connor Ungar in the dying seconds.
That?s how the period would end, the Saints would outshoot the Wolverines 20-8 and take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
Things started opening up for both teams in the middle frame as each team would find the back of the net 3 times. Whitecourt didn?t get many shots, but they were quality ones and they made them count when they got the chances. The Wolverines would open the scoring in the period 5 minutes in, as the puck would come out to Greyson Stewart right in the slot as he puts it away to cut the lead in half. The Saints would respond with two quick goals just a couple minutes later to extend their lead to three goals.
Stanley Cooley would end up getting the puck on net from the right corner and it somehow found its way through to make it a 3-1 game. Under a minute later, Ryan Conroy would walk into the slot and beat Connor Ungar backhand five hole as the Saints get two quick ones. Two minutes later, Whitecourt would find the back of the net again, Koehn Ziemmer would beat Matt Davis on the backhand off a terrific individual effort to bring Whitecourt to within two goals.
Both teams would continue to trade goals late in the period, Cole Basnett would fire one from the slot to make it a 5-3 game, but Whitecourt would answer with a late powerplay off a Saints two many men call. Kaleb Ergang would capitalize on the powerplay to make it a two-goal game once again as we head into the third period. Shots are 35-14 for the Saints as they head into the final 20 minutes up by two.
The Saints would get a pair of goals early in this period to put the game out of reach. On a 5 on 3 powerplay, Nick Leyer would finish off a pretty passing play for the backdoor goal to make it 6-3. Tanner Klassen would get his 2nd goal of the game a few minutes later as they stretch this lead out in the final frame. Whitecourt would add one more late in the period but that would be all as the Saints get back in the win column with a 7-4 victory here at the Grant Fuhr Arena.
The Saints did a great job of taking what Whitecourt gave them in this game. The Wolverines were pretty lenient defensively and they were giving the Saints time and space to make plays. The Saints transition game was very strong all night long as they were moving the puck quickly and gaining the zone with speed. They had a lot of chances against Drayton Valley on Tuesday, but they didn?t really get enough threatening looks, they did a better job of that tonight and were rewarded for it.
The Saints will hit the road tomorrow for the second half of the home and home with Whitecourt. Puck drop is 7:30PM at the Scott Safety Centre in Whitecourt as the Saints look to sweep both games against the Wolverines.