By Terry Martin
The Saints and Thunder took each other on for game 4 as Spruce Grove looked to complete the sweep and earn the spot in the AJHL championship for the 3rd straight full season. Drayton Valley faces elimination for the first time in these playoffs, having only lost 1 game to Lloydminster and 2 games to Fort McMurray.
The Saints would control the game throughout the first 10 minutes of the game and would generate some great scoring opportunities, but would not find the back of the net for the whole period. Tristan Martin wasn’t too busy during the period but was sharp when he was needed. The Saints and Thunder would remain tied 0-0 but Spruce Grove would lead in shots 11-4.
Spruce Grove would again dominate puck possession throughout the first half of the period but Jackson Berry would shut the door for the Thunder. The Saints would get 2 power play opportunities in the frame but just could not get the 1st goal of the game. Spruce Grove would still lead in shots 31-8 after 2 periods of play.
The game would still remain scoreless all the way up to the halfway mark of the period. Jacob Rochford would finally break the ice as he would dangle around the Thunder defence shorthanded, scoring on his own rebound to put the Saints up 1-0. The Saints would hold onto the lead throughout the rest of the game as the Thunder would continue to press hard. Spruce Grove goes on to win the game and sweep the Drayton Valley Thunder, punching their ticket to the AJHL Final. Tristan Martin ends the game with his 1st AJHL Playoffs shutout and the Saints outshoot the Thunder 41-11 after 60 minutes of play.
The Saints are now the 2021-2022 North Division champions and will face off against the Brooks Bandits on April 29th for the 2nd time in 2 years.