Saints take down Barons 3-1

By Robert Murray, Fort McMurray Today

The Spruce Grove Saints injected life into their season on Monday night, after defeating the Fort McMurray Oil Barons 3-1 and cutting the deficit in their Alberta Junior Hockey League North Division final in half.

“We didn’t finish,” said MOB head coach Gord Thibodeau. “I didn’t think we were on the proper side of a lot of battles.”

With the ice still fresh, the Oil Barons struck early. Forward Brennan Saulnier caused a turnover in the Saints’ defensive zone and walked right in on netminder Kenny Cameron before roofing the puck top shelf for his fourth goal of the playoffs just 35 seconds into the game.

The goal had added significance for Saulnier and the Oil Barons. The forward had been handed a game misconduct in the second period of Saturday’s game two in Spruce Grove.

Both goaltenders would take over for the rest of the period as Tanner Jaillet and Cameron went save for save.

The Saints eventually found a crack in Jaillet’s seemingly impenetrable armour just 4:25 into the middle frame as rookie forward Tyler Busch beat Jaillet to level the score at one after two periods.

In the third period, both teams went toe-to-toe landing big hits on each other and trading multiple chances at each end of the ice.

It would be the Saints gaining the upper hand though as the point shot from Tristan Sieben rebounded right to Connor Hoekstra who deposited the game-winner with 5:49 left in the third period.

Cameron Hughes added an insurance goal late in the third to cement the victory.

Cameron finished with 25 saves in net on the night while Jaillet stopped 25 of the 28 shots he faced.

The Saints will look to reclaim home-ice advantage and even up their series on Tuesday night as the teams clash in game four of the series. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Casman Centre.

Photo credit: Robert Murray/Fort McMurray Today