Saints snap Bandits win streak with 5-4 victory
By: Adam Kulak
For at least the next couple days, the Saints can say something that no other team can, which is they have beaten the Brooks Bandits this season. After a flying start to the game that saw the Saints go up 3-1 in the first, they continued to put on the pressure and would hold on for the thrilling 5-4 win here on home ice.
The Saints bounced back in a big way from last night with one of their best games of the season and they picked a great game to do it. Reid Schaefer would get 2 goals and Peckford, Popowich and Hall would add the other ones as the Saints snap the Bandits 22 game win streak in front of their home ice fans.
The Saints came out with one of their better periods of the season, jumping out to a multi goal lead over the Bandits. After an off night last night, the Saints were looking to bounce back in this game, and they showed it after 20 minutes. Brooks couldn?t move the puck and get sustained offensive zone time, the Saints got their sticks in every passing lane, they were moving the puck around quickly and that resulted in opening up scoring chances.
The Bandits would get on the board first as Sean Chisholm would finish a 2 on 1, but that lead would not last long. Less than a minute later, Ryan Peckford would feed Tanner Klassen down low who gave it right back to Peckford who beats Pierce Charleson to tie it up.
The Saints weren?t finished as they would get two more quick ones later in the period. Cam Mitchell would bring the puck into the zone, stop up and make a great play to hit Reid Schaefer coming right down Broadway for his first AJHL goal. Just a minute later, Nick Leyer would feed Sam Popowich out front as he would extend the Saints lead to 3-1 as they were flying in this period.
Shots in the period were 12-8 in favor of the Saints as they take a 3-1 lead into the 1st intermission.
Things slowed down a bit in the second period but both teams still managed to find the back of the net. The shots were only 5-5 in the period as both teams tried to shut things down. 5 minutes into the period, Brooks would capitalize on the Powerplay as Taylor Makar was on the doorstep to bang in the loose puck.
That brought it back to a one goal game, but the Saints just kept playing their game. Just over halfway through the period, Reid Schaefer would get his second goal of the game on a scramble in front of the Bandits net.
The Saints didn?t let up at all in the middle frame, to have success against Brooks you must match the speed and pace that they play at and so far, the Saints have done a terrific job of that through two periods.
The Saints would lead the shot clock 17-13 and the score clock 4-2 as they head into the final 20 minutes.
The Brooks Bandits would not go down without a fight and they put on a full out press in the third period to try and tie this game up. Their captain Jakob Lee would find the back of the net to bring the Bandits to within one halfway through the period.
Brooks wouldn?t quit in the third, Adam Hall would give the Saints back the two-goal lead late in the period, but Brooks answered right back 30 seconds later as Taylor Makar would get his 2nd of the game.
The Saints would bend at times late in the period defending the lead, but they would not break. The Bandits would call their timeout and pull Pierce Charleson with a minute left for the final push, but a late penalty by the Bandits would all but seal the game for the Saints.
And as the Saints killed off the remaining seconds of the game in the offensive zone, the buzzer would sound on Brooks? 22 game winning streak. The Saints responded from last night with a fantastic performance all around and they were rewarded with a huge win against the best Junior A team in Canada.
The Saints wanted to bounce back after last game and with a chance to play one of their rivals over the years and to snap their win streak, the Saints were incredibly motivated for tonight?s game. From top to bottom, all lines and pairings were rolling, the Saints were flying and moving the puck very well.
They were able to move the puck quickly through the neutral zone and generated a lot of zone entries and chances off the rush. Their Powerplay also looked much better in this game, as they were able to find passes through seams and get more high percentage shots.
The Saints will look to continue rolling after this game as they welcome the Lloydminster Bobcats to the Grant Fuhr Arena on Tuesday night.