Saints outlast Thunder 3-2 in a Shootout
By: Adam Kulak
It was opening night all over again, it was back and forth for most of this game, but it would be the Saints coming out victorious. Riley Bodnarchuk and Stanley Cooley would score tonight, and Ethan Edwards would get the shootout winner as the Saints would win their 5th straight game. Logan Acheson had a big night with assists on both goals and Matt Davis was once again solid in between the pipes.
It was an evenly played period in the first 20 minutes of this game. There was no scoring in the first, but it was a back and forth period with both teams creating good chances. The Saints special teams looked good to start this game, Drayton Valley would get themselves a 4-minute powerplay off a Saints high stick, but Matt Davis and the penalty killers did a great job limiting them to just 3 shots.
The Saints would get a powerplay opportunity of their own, they wouldn?t score but the powerplay showed promise. They were moving the puck around and opening up east/west passing lanes to get the goaltender moving. They had a couple opportunities where they missed the net or couldn?t get the right shot off, but they did a bunch of good things.
However, both teams couldn?t manage to get on the board, shots were 10-9 in favor of the Saints as the period would end scoreless.
The same thing would continue in the second period, only with more scoring. The Saints would strike right away as Riley Bodnarchuk would finish a great passing play with Cole Basnett and Logan Acheson as the puck would find its way through Rory Dumelie. They would add to their lead later in the period as Stanley Cooley would finish off another tic tac toe play as Dumelie didn?t have much chance on that one.
It looked like the Saints were going to start to take full control of this game. However, they would take two back to back penalties in the later half of the period to give Drayton Valley a chance to get back into it. They would make the Saints pay on their first minor as Jeremy Klessens would rip a shot over the shoulder of Davis to cut the lead in half.
The Saints would be able to kill off the second penalty and hold down the 2-1 lead after 40 minutes of play. Shots in the period were 7-7 and 17-16 overall as we head to the final 20 minutes.
The Saints would continue a powerplay that they received in the last minute of the second, but nothing would be able to come of it. Drayton Valley would find the equalizer 3 minutes into the third period. Jake Aston would finish off the beautiful passing play by the Thunder coming into the zone and just like that we are all tied up going down the stretch.
The Saints would get a powerplay as well as an opportunity with a two-man advantage. But after a pretty good first powerplay, the Saints struggled to convert with the extra man. It went right down to the wire with great chances for both teams. Throughout the third and the overtime period, neither team could solve either goaltender as both netminders stood tall for their respective teams.
The Saints only had 23 shots in the game, and they were outshot 29-23, but that obviously doesn?t count all the posts and missed nets that both teams had in this game. For the second time against Drayton Valley, just like opening night, the Saints would have to pull one out in the shootout.
Ethan Edwards would score in round 1 and Matt Davis would stop all three Thunder shooters as the Saints pull out the 3-2 shootout victory, improving to 13-2-0 on the regular season. The Saints will now hit the road this weekend as they travel to Drumheller to take on the Dragons on Friday and Brooks to take on the Bandits Saturday.