Saints Win 2-1 OT Thriller over Thunder
By: Adam Kulak
It was a back and forth, tight checking game all night long, it?s always a battle between these two teams and tonight was no exception. Matt Davis was rock solid in net and Cam Mitchell would end it in overtime as the Saints outlast the Thunder 2-1 in extra hockey. After a rough night in Camrose last weekend, the Saints were able to get back in the win column over their division rival for their 36th win on the season.
? Spruce Grove Saints (@sgsaints) February 1, 2020
Neither team could find the back of the net through 20 minutes, but it was a fast pace hard fought period. Both teams came out physical and it was a chippy, tightly played opening frame. The Saints best chances of the period came on their first powerplay of the night. They had several shots on Eric Ward but couldn?t get enough dangerous second and third chances to try open the scoring.
They managed to kill off the Thunder?s powerplay late in the period to keep this game scoreless as the period would end 0-0. That was the story of the period for both teams offensively, a lot of shots but they will need to increase the quality and get more secondary chances as both teams were clearing rebounds and blocking shots. Shots in the period were 13-12 for the Saints as they will look to break the tie in period #2.
It remained a tight checking game for the most part, but the Saints were able to generate more quality chances. Brett Trentham would be stopped on a 2 on 1 rush, Ryan Peckford would ring it off the cross bar with a wrist shot from the slot, and they had several close calls on the powerplay.
Drayton Valley created a good amount of chances as well, as they had a breakaway and multiple odd man rushes in the period. They also had a few good shots from in tight, but Matt Davis and Eric Ward have both shut the door through 2 periods of this game.
It?s clear that goals are going to be hard to come by in this game as the second period would end in a 0-0 tie. We will see if this continues to be a intense checking game as both teams continue to look for the first goal. Shots are 29-23 for the Saints after 40 as we head into the final 20 minutes.
After going 40 minutes without a single goal, there was two goals scored in the first minute and a half of the third period. Drayton Valley would strike first just 24 seconds into the period, Matthew Kinash in the slot would beat Matt Davis with a terrific shot over the shoulder to get things started. The Saints battled back after that goal and found the equalizer just a minute later as Brayden Nicholetts would beat Eric Ward from the left circle to tie this game back up under 2 minutes into the final frame.
Both teams battled hard all night long and they continued to do so throughout the remainder of this third period. Considering three of the 5 meetings between these two teams have gone past regulation, it was only fitting that it would once again be the case. The shots ended up being 37-30 after three periods for the Saints as this hard-fought game would be decided in the extra frame.
It would take just 1 minute and 38 seconds into overtime for Cam Mitchell to be the hero in this game. He picked up the puck in the neutral zone, took the space that was given to him and drover right to the net for the sweet finish on Eric Ward. That would be goals in back to back games for Mitchell and two in three games since returning from injury as the Saints get back in the win column here in Drayton Valley.
The Saints will get some more rest before they hit the road next Friday to take on the Lloydminster Bobcats. You can listen on the Saints radio network as puck drop is 7:30 PM at the Centennial Civic Centre.