By Terry Martin
The Saints took on the Storm for the 4th time this season as Spruce Grove looked to get back into the win column after an overtime loss to the Oil Barons. The Saints have outscored the Storm 18-10 in the season series so far while picking up all 3 wins. Spruce Grove also holds their 1st place lead heading into the final month of the season as they are up 5 points on the Oil Barons. The Grande Prairie Storm are last place in the North Division with 14 wins and 35 points and a 1 game win streak, recently beating the Crusaders.
The Saints would strike early on their third shot of the game as Luigi Benincasa would bury the rebound in front of the net. Hudson Foley would then tie the game with a power play goal with 13 minutes remaining in the frame. Jacob Rochford would then bang the puck home from the side of the net to put the Saints up 2-1. Benincasa would then get his 2nd goal of the game after a huge scramble in front of the net to give the Saints a 2 goal lead heading into the 2nd period. The Saints would just edge out the Storm in shots, 14-11 after 20 minutes of play.
Ethan Strang would open the scoring for the Storm, shooting the puck blocker side on a breakaway. Liam Watkins would then restore the 2-goal lead, firing the puck glove side on the PK for the shorthanded goal. The Saints would hold on to their 4-2 lead as both teams turned up the physicality. Spruce Grove would again lead 26-20 in shots heading into the 3rd period.
Nikola Jovanovic would be the one to open the scoring for the Saints in this period, going five hole for the team’s 2nd shorthanded goal of the game. Caden Gault would then fire the puck from the slot, going bar down for his 40th goal of the season. Edge Lambert then scores for the Storm with 8:45 left in the game to cut the Saints lead to 3. Liam Watkins would then finish off a great passing play on their power play opportunity. Nikola Jovanovic would then score a last-minute goal on another power play. The Saints would go on to win 8-3 and dominate the shot clock, outshooting the Storm 35-28 after 60 minutes.
The Saints now head south for a pair of weekend games against the Canmore Eagles on Saturday and the Okotoks Oilers on Sunday.