Saints Roll Over Oil Barons 11-1
By: Adam Kulak
After a blowout 9-1 victory over the Olds Grizzlys last Sunday, the Saints some how managed to one up that performance with an 11-1 dominating victory over the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. The Saints jumped out to a big lead early and just never took their foot off the gas. Jonathan Assayag and Ryan Conroy would make their home debuts against their old team and Matt Davis would get his 19th start of the season.
I don?t think the first period could have gone any better for the Saints as they came ready to play in this game. They were all over the Oil Barons in the first period, they had a strong forecheck and cycle and had them hemmed in their own zone for most of the period. This strong play would eventually translate into a 4-goal opening period.
Nick Leyer would get things started off as Ethan Edwards would circle the net and find him out front for the first goal of the game. Just 2 minutes after, Stanley Cooley would make his way into the zone and snap a shot off the rush, beating Evan Fradette to immediately extend the lead to two.
The Saints powerplay continued to be red hot, going 2/3 in the first 20 minutes. They didn?t capitalize on their first chance early in the period, but they answered with two straight powerplay goals. Both of them would come from the same man, the man who opened the scoring in this game.
Nick Leyer?s stick was on fire in this game, Cam Mitchell would feed him in front of the net for his second to make it a 3-0 game. And late in the period on their third powerplay, he would rip a shot from the high slot to complete the first period hat trick and chasing Evan Fradette from the net early.
That would cap off a dominating period with the Saints holding a 4-0 lead. The Saints outshot the Oil Barons 20-7 through 20 minutes as they head into the second with complete control.
If you thought the Saints couldn?t one up their performance in the first period, you would be incorrect. They added another 4 goals in the middle frame but this time in a 4-minute span. The first would come from Jonathan Assayag for his second as a Saint and first against his former team.
Ryan Peckford would then come streaking down the right wing and beating Chris Curr low blocker as the flood gates would really start to open. Exactly 1 minute later, Cole Basnett would finish on the doorstep as he continues to produce, making it 7-0.
And then just over a minute later, the Saints would complete a pretty passing play with Grahame Gamache feeding Ryan Peckford who would find Tanner Klassen right in the slot for a prime scoring chance and he made no mistake.
Seth Fyten would add one more before the end of the period off a backdoor feed from Jonathan Assayag as the Saints match their goal total from last Sunday with a period to play. The shots were 34-14 after 40 minutes in favor of the Saints as they continue to run Fort McMurray out of the building.
Things definitely slowed down offensively in the third period; Fort McMurray would get on the board late as Ty Budai would score on the breakaway after a miss play at the Saints blueline. The Saints would add two more to win this one convincingly here on home ice.
Their first goal of the period came 3 minutes in as Brayden Nicholetts would capitalize on a double minor from Fort McMurray. Ryan Peckford would bury one with under a minute play just for good measure as the Saints put up a season high 11 goals. They have now scored 20 goals over their last 2 games as they finish off an 11-1 victory over the Fort McMurray Oil Barons.
The first period really set the tone for how this game was going to be. The Saints came out flying and they were all over the Oil Barons zone through almost the entire game. The Oil Barons couldn?t get any zone time because the Saints were stopping plays at their blueline and quickly transitioning out of their zone and up ice with speed.
When you add in the Saints strong forecheck and cycle, they essentially lived in the offensive zone. The Saints had 8 players with multi point performances tonight and Nick Leyer was feeling it early and often in this game with an opening period hat trick.
The Saints offense is scorching hot and they will look to continue riding it into Sunday Afternoon as they host the Grande Prairie Storm in their skate with the Saints game at 2:00pm.