Saints Win 4-3 in Triple OT over Storm in Game 5
By: Adam Kulak
It was a marathon of a night here at the Grant Fuhr Arena, almost 102 minutes of hockey between these two teams in order to finally find a winner in this game. The Saints were not about to play almost 2 games in one night and not come out with a single win. Over a minute into triple overtime, Cole Basnett said enough was enough as the Saints win 4-3 in Game 5. Kaeden Lane stopped 56 of 60 shots and Matt Davis stopped 41 of 44 to get the victory as the Saints are now one win away from Round 2.
VIDEO: COLE BASNETT ENDS IT IN TRIPLE OVERTIME!!#AJHL #Mission6 pic.twitter.com/wbLV3P7M8T
? Spruce Grove Saints (@sgsaints) March 8, 2020
The Saints came out and set a good tempo to the game, they were hard on the forecheck and created several shots of turnovers. They were playing aggressive and they were physical with Grande Prairie early and often in this opening period. It was a frustrating couple games up in Grande Prairie and the Saints wanted to look for a bounce back performance on home ice.
While the Saints did some good things in the first period, they also struggled in other aspects of the game. They were a bit out of sync on their decision making with the puck, several plays in the neutral zone and a couple in the defensive zone where the Saints had troubles moving it up. Some of it was poor luck as the puck bounced on them a number of times when trying to make a play.
The Saints would get called for slashing late and the Storm will get 1:44 of powerplay time in period 2. Shots were 10-10 as the game would remain scoreless after 20 minutes.
It was a high event period for both clubs as there was back and forth action. The Saints would start the period with a solid penalty kill and they looked to build momentum off it. Unfortunately, things would not go well for the Saints after the penalty kill. Grande Prairie would create a turnover off the forecheck, and Jackson Wozniak would bury it out front to make it 1-0 for the Storm 2:45 into the period.
As the period went on, the Storm would head to the box at the 8-minute mark of the period. After the powerplay started to go quiet on the road, it bounced back here on home ice and the Saints would make them pay. Brayden Nicholetts would snipe one from the top of the circle, it hit a Grande Prairie stick on the way in but Nicholetts get the Saints back into the game.
That would not last long, the Saints weren?t super sharp in this game and it cost them a couple times. Matt Davis was playing very well and made several great saves in this game, but he can?t always stop everything. 28 seconds after the Saints made it 1-1, Jackson Wozniak would come in on a 2 on 1 and snipe one again as the Storm would grab the lead right back.
I said it was a back and forth period and that would continue as the Saints respond again. The Saints powerplay would go 2/2 in the period as Cole Basnett would put it home on the doorstep to tie this game back up at 2. The Saints would have to kill off a penalty late, but the period would end in a 2-2 tie. Shots were 25-24 for the Storm after 40 minutes as the Saints will head into the final frame.
The third period was basically all Saints for the most part, they lived in the offensive zone and through everything at the net. The Saints powerplay would strike for the third time in this game, Graham Gamache would redirect the feed from Tanner Klassen as the Saints take their first lead of the night.
They continued to put on the pressure throughout the third, they outshot Grande Prairie 16-3 in the period and looked like they would be on their way to closing this one out. But teams just need a chance, even if they have 3 shots, they can still score one when given an opportunity. With 6 minutes left in the period, the Saints would give the Storm that chance. The Storm would get a late powerplay and Ethan Strang would convert on a backdoor feed to tie the game at 3.
That was a tough goal for the Saints to give up, they control most of the period and then a defensive breakdown leads to the tying goal for the Storm. They will need to move past it and bounce back in Overtime if they want to grab a 3-2 series lead. Shots were 40-28 for the Saints after regulation as both teams would head to overtime for the 3rd time this series.
This overtime period played out the way that most overtimes do, it was a tightly contested period as both teams were fighting for that winning goal. No penalties as the refs put the whistles away for sudden death. Grande Prairie came close to winning it with a few backdoor chances that they either whiffed on or the Saints blocked and cleared it.
The Saints had several rushes of their own, Gamache and Nicholetts would both come close off the rush, Trentham would just about put it home backdoor, but the puck bounced. It was a back and forth game all night long and it continued to be throughout the first overtime period. Matt Davis and Kaeden Lane were both terrific as they continue to duel it out, keeping this a tied game. This has turned into an exciting series as this game will now go to double overtime for the 2nd time between these two clubs.
After 5 periods of back and forth chances, this game would go all the way until the early going of Triple Overtime, when Cole Basnett would finally end this Game 5 Marathon. With the puck right in the slot, Basnett would make no mistake, beating Kaeden Lane over the shoulder to win this game on the Saints 60th shot of the night. That would be 2 on the evening for Basnett and he is the hero tonight.
The Saints will now face a tough test on Tuesday night as they head to Grande Prairie. The last win they have in that building was back in September and the Storm will come out desperate with their backs to the wall. They will look to break that trend in order to move onto Round 2 of the AJHL playoffs. Puck drop is 7:30 PM at Revolution Place as the Saints will try to close this series out in Game 6.