Training Camp Notes: Split Squad Wrap Up Against Drayton Valley
By: Adam Kulak
The Saints kicked off their preseason with a split squad double header here at the Grant Fuhr Arena and swept both games against the Drayton Valley Thunder. They beat the Thunder 4-0 in Game 1 in the afternoon and outlasted them in a wide open 6-5 contest in Game 2.
All the players have been looking forward to finally getting into some game action against real opponents and to get back into a rhythm as far as pace and timing goes. Here is a brief summary of both games that took place here today.
Both teams iced fairly young squads for Game 1 with players looking to make names for themselves and impress the coaching staff.
With there being not as many returning players it wasn?t quite as fast of a game, but the pace picked up as the game went on. The more the players started to get comfortable, the more the game started to open up.
The Saints would jump out to an early lead in the first period courtesy of goals from Stanley Cooley, Carter Myrol and Evan Arnold making it 3-0 after 20 minutes. Matthew Morgan would add one more off a nifty backhand over the glove of the Thunder netminder to seal the 4-0 victory in Game 1.
There were several very good performances for the Saints in this game. Stanley Cooley and Carter Myrol showed good chemistry in this game with both hitting the scoresheet. Jayden Davis was all over the ice, getting into it with Thunder players and creating shots and chances.
The Saints blueliners played well in this game with Morgan getting a goal and making good plays. McKinley, Roloson and others did a good job limiting Drayton Valley in chances.
Both Nick Rimmer and Levi Hall came up strong when they needed to in order to preserve the shutout as the young squad would finish a strong showing here this afternoon.
Both teams would dress a more veteran squad in Game 2 tonight with the Saints showing a lot of players that will be big parts of the team this season.
It was a faster paced and higher scoring game which was to be expected with more regulars in the lineup for each team. Just like last game, the Saints would jump out to a 3-goal lead in the opening frame, but the scoring would continue as the game went along.
Bruce MacGregor, Seth Fyten and Bryce Bader put the Saints up 3-0. They would add 3 more in the second as Liam Hughes would score and Bryce Bader would add two more to complete the Hattrick and put the Saints up by 4 goals.
Drayton Valley put on a push in the third period and fought their way back with three of their own, but the Saints would hold on to win it 6-5 and sweep the split squad action here at the Grant Fuhr Arena.
Bryce Bader had a very good night with a hattrick performance and making plays in all three zones. There were a lot of others who were flying and trying to make things happen, some of them didn?t get on the scoresheet but they came close several times.
The Saints will continue their preseason schedule tomorrow night in Lloydminster and they are back home Sunday afternoon as they welcome Fort McMurray.