Saints Slay Dragons for 6th Straight Win
By: Adam Kulak
The Saints kicked off their weekend road trip on the right note. It was a close battle all game long, but the Saints would explode early in the second and hang on for the 4-2 win over the Drumheller Dragons. This would be the first meeting with Drumheller this season and it would also be Brayden Nicholetts? first game back since being acquired by the Saints for Bruce MacGregor.
Things started out pretty even in this game as both teams had opportunities in the early going. There was no scoring in the period but Drumheller came out with multiple good looks and them and the Saints both traded chances in the first half of the period.
Drumheller would have the only Powerplay of the period at the 10-minute mark but they failed to generate much on the man advantage. The Saints did a terrific job of killing off the penalty and they started to get momentum as the period went on.
They started to push the pace in the second half of the period, forechecking well and creating several scoring chances. Matt Davis was great in the opening 20 minutes as he had a couple terrific saves throughout the period.
The Saints lead the shots 15-8 after 20 minutes of play as the period would end scoreless going into the second.
Things would immediately swing in the Saints favor to start the period. Just when it started to feel like it was going to be a close game from start to finish, the Saints all of a sudden put on a scoring outburst.
Just under 5 minutes in, Nick Leyer would take a stretch feed from Stanley Cooley and he would find Adam Hall streaking to the net for the opening goal in tonight?s game. That would be Adam Hall?s first in a Saints uniform, but they were not done there.
20 seconds later, Grahame Gamache would feed Brayden Nicholetts out front as he would bury it on his former team to extend the lead to 2-0. Just wait, as the Saints were not quite finished putting the puck in the net.
Right after, the Saints created a turnover off a strong forecheck, and Seth Fyten would put it on goal. Tanner Klassen would jump on the rebound as the Saints stun the Drumheller crowd with 3 straight goals in just over a minute of play.
Drumheller had two Powerplays to even out the shots 11-11 in the period, but the Saints were able to kill the rest of the period off and head into the intermission with a 3-goal cushion.
Drumheller didn?t go away after giving up 3 goals and they did everything they could to make it a close game. 2 minutes into the game, Kobe Mohr would beat Davis off a feed from Eric Martin to get Drumheller on the board early in the period.
There was only a single penalty in the opening period, but things started to get rough in the final 40 minutes. Especially in the third, a lot of roughing minors handed out early after a scrum in the Dragons zone. Later in the period, Cam Mitchell would take a high hit from Dragon player Steven Zonneveld and he would get 2 and 10 for it.
The Saints would make them pay for that hit on the Powerplay as Loeden Schaufler would throw a changeup from the point to give the Saints back the 3-goal lead. He fanned on the initial shot, but it found its way through several bodies and through Cale Elder as the Saints catch a break on that one.
Drumheller would pull within 2 with just under 2 minutes to play in the period. The puck would come out to Joel Patsey in the slot and he would beat Davis through a bunch of chaos in front of the Saints net.
The Dragons would pull Cale Elder with a minute to go but 4-2 would be as close as they would get. Matt Davis was terrific in net all night and the Saints cap off a strong game with a 4-2 win on the road. With their 6th win in a row, the Saints continue to keep pace with Sherwood Park for top spot in the North Division and they will look to continue their winning ways in less than 24 hours.
They are back at it in Brooks tomorrow night as they get set to take on the league leading Brooks Bandits, puck drop at 7:00pm.