By Terry Martin
The Saints are coming off a loss against the Brooks Bandits, losing 5-3 in regulation after a spirited comeback late in last period. The Saints sit 2nd in the North Division with 51 points and 24 wins. The Saints wrapped up their 5-game road trip tonight and took on the Wolverines as they faced off against each other tonight for the 3rd time this season, with Spruce Grove winning both of the previous meetings. Whitecourt is currently in 5th place in the North with 17 wins and 38 points.
The Saints would score on their opening power play opportunity half way through the 1st period. Luigi Benincasa would capitalize on the bouncing puck in the slot to give the team their first lead of the game. Caiden Gault would also add a power play goal just a few minutes later to put the Saints up 2-0. The Saints would end the period leading 14-5 in shots, while also dominating in puck possession after 20 minutes of play.
Christiano Aiello would score first in the 2nd period on a power play opportunity after the Saints were put in the box at the end of the 1st period. Evan Sundar would restore the 2-goal lead after tapping in a back door pass to score his first ever AJHL goal later in the period. The Saints would lead 3-1 but trail 23-19 in shots after 40 minutes of play.
Caiden Gault would score just 12 seconds into the period on the Access Power Play to put the Saints up 4-1. Cooper Smyl would then score for the Wolverines to cut the lead in half just a few seconds later. Caiden Gault would then score his hat-trick goal just a few moments later to give the Saints a 5-2 lead. Jaden Senkoe would then score after finding the puck in a scramble and would make no mistake to put the Saints up 6-2. The Wolverines would continue to push back as Alex Dominique would score on their next power play. Nikola Jovanovic would then put the game out of reach with 8 minutes to go after a great rush to the net. Jarred Feist would score on an odd man rush to make it 7-4 game with less than 5 minutes to go. The Saints would hold on to their lead and return to the win column to end their road trip. The Saints would just barely be out shot by the Wolverines 36-35 after 60 minutes.
Spruce Grove will now return to the Grant Fuhr Arena on Friday for a rematch against the Wolverines on December 17th for the first game of a 5-game home stand that will continue into the new year.