Saints Hold Off Oilers for 7-4 Win
By: Adam Kulak
What looked like a blowout early turned into a close game as the Saints lit things up in the first and hung on for the 7-4 win over the Okotoks Oilers. Stanley Cooley would score twice and Fyten, Nicholetts, Popowich, Leyer, and Klassen would also get on the scoresheet. Max Duchesne was solid in between the pipes, helping the Saints towards their second straight win and third win in their last four games.
It seemed like everything the Saints touched went in during the first 20 minutes of this game. They would get things started just 13 seconds in before everyone could even get in their seats. Right after the opening faceoff, Reid Schaeffer would put the puck on net and the rebound would come right to Seth Fyten driving to the net as the Saints come out of the gate flying high.
Just a few minutes later, the Saints would extend their lead with a shorthanded marker from Tanner Klassen. Coming in on a 2 on 1, he would beat Brady Parker over the blocker to make it 2-0 just over 5 minutes in. Okotoks would get on the board with a powerplay goal from Noah Kim, but the Saints would take advantage of the Oilers undisciplined play by scoring three powerplay goals in the period.
As soon as Seth Fyten would come out of the box the puck would come to him in the neutral zone. He would leave it for Jordan Biro who would then send a nice cross crease pass to Stanley Cooley with a yawning cage as the Saints make it 3-0.
After the Oilers made it 3-1, Nick Leyer would get powerplay goal number 2 as he would put home the rebound off another cross-crease pass and shot on the net. Nick Leyer would continue to stay hot from that spot and the Saints powerplay would continue to bury Okotoks.
Last but not least, after passing around the zone for a while, Jordan Biro would find an open lane to shoot and Brayden Nicholetts would get a stick on it with literally a tenth of a second left in the period. That would cap off a monster period for the powerplay and a monster period for the Saints overall.
Shots in the period were 11-9 for the Saints as they chase Brady Parker from the Okotoks net and take a 5-1 lead into the first intermission.
Things cooled off quite a bit in terms of scoring compared to the first. It was kind of a messy period for the most part, lots of back and forth play and broken up plays in the neutral zone. Okotoks may have been done 5-1 but they were playing better than the score entailed.
They would get the only goal of the period as their Captain Marc Pasemko would score yet another powerplay goal in the game to make it 5-2 in the second half of the second period. Okotoks would outshoot the Saints 14-9 in the period and would have the only goal of the middle frame as the period would end with one goal to show.
Things picked up again scoring wise in the third period as both teams would net two goals each. Sam Popowich would get the period started just 3 minutes in with a backhand that found its way through Ashton Abel to put the Saints up 6-2.
Okotoks would not go quietly in this game; it would have been easy for them to throw in the towel and get deflated after the first period, but they stuck with it and at even strength this was a very evenly played game.
The Oilers would end up getting two goals midway through the third to bring it to a two-goal game. Carson Dyck would score the second of three shorthanded goals in this game as a Saints miss play at the blueline sent him in all alone. Brandon Machado would beat Max Duchesne on the backhand with over 5 minutes to play.
Okotoks would pull their goaltender with 3 minutes to play as the Saints started to hang on late in the game. The Oilers would also get a late powerplay goal but a fortunate break as Stanley
Cooley would come in on a 2 on 1 and he would put the game out of reach with a wrist shot over the glove of Ashton Abel to make it 7-4 with just a few minutes to play.
That would be how the game would end as the Saints hang on for the 7-4 win and getting two big points against a top team in the league. Max Duchesne was very good in this game, after two struggling performances, he really bounced back and even though he gave up 4, he made several huge saves throughout the course of the game.
The Saints will look to keep this going as they head into Sherwood Park tomorrow night for another rematch with the Crusaders. Game time is 7:00pm at the Sherwood Park Arena.