FORT MCMURRAY, AB (November 1, 2014) – The Spruce Grove Saints scored early and often en route to its second straight 5-2 win over the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (9-10-3).
The Saints got onto the board 38 seconds into the game, when Brandon Biro connected on a cross-ice pass from Jarid Hauptman, for his second goal in as many games.
After a one-sided fight put the Barons on the penalty kill for 5 minutes, Austin Hunter picked up the puck behind the MOB net, and beat Zach Fortin (St. Jerome, PQ) to the far post, making it 2-0 after the opening period.
In the second, the Saints got on the board in the first minute once again, as Paul Lovsin connected on the same powerplay 18 seconds in, to extend the lead to 3-0.
Just under 13 minutes after that, Nicolas Correale joined a Saints rush, and wired a wrister over the shoulder of Fortin, giving Spruce Grove the four-goal lead.
And with 52 seconds left, Hauptman tapped in a back-door pass, sending the Saints to the dressing room with a 5-0 lead after 40.
But the Barons were able to salvage the third period with a strong effort.
Mitchell Vanderlaan (Hanwell, NB) one-timed a pass from Jetlan Houcher (Paradise Valley, AB) past Brett Zarowny to get the MOB on the board, with just over 9 minutes to play.
Just under six minutes later, Ryan Gruszka (Belle River, ON) lead a rush up the left-wing side, leaving it for Stefan Burzan (Surrey, BC), who finished off the wrap-around to make it a 5-2 game.
Head coach Curtis Hunt says just like last night, a slow start really hurt the MOB.
“We talked yesterday about being ready to go, about focusing for 60 minutes, for doing our jobs better than we had (been),” he said.
“It was just a terrible start, so you chase the game from the very beginning. At times defensively, we were atrocious, we just chased the pucks in circles; we've got a lot of work to do.”
Fortin made 38 saves in a losing effort, while Zarowny made 35 for the win.
With the win, the Saints extended their division lead over Lloydminster to 8 points, as the Bobcats lost in overtime to Bonnyville.
With the loss, the Barons take sole possession of fifth place in the division.
Up next for the MOB, they take to the road for a game in Bonnyville on Tuesday night (November 4).
Puck drop is at 7:30, with the pregame show live on KAOS 91.1 at 7:15.
KAOS 91.1 3 Stars:
1. Jarid Hauptman (1G/2A)
2. Paul Lovsin (1G/1A)
3. Riley Simpson (2A)