Crusaders Take 2-0 Lead with OT Win in North Division Final

It was a much better bounce back performance for the Saints in Game 2, but it wouldn’t quite be enough.  They outshot the Crusaders 41-15, but would fall 3-2 in overtime to the Crusaders who take a 2-0 lead in the series.  Big lineup changes in this game, Matthew Rempe, Alex Dalton and Evan Wood would draw back in for Game 2 in place of Bruce MacGregor, Jaxsen Wyatt and Mackenzie Harden.  Matt Davis and Matt Berlin were once again be the starters as the Saints would look to even the series going back home.

It was a good opening frame for the Saints as they held the Crusaders to just 3 shots in the period.  They did a better job of limiting Sherwood Parks quality chances and winning more battles in their own zone.  Both teams had one opportunity on the powerplay but neither could capitalize.  The Saints penalty killers did a very good job of being aggressive and making it difficult on the Cru to get up ice and set up.  The Saints still need to find a way to bare down on their chances as they had a couple looks where they missed the net or couldn’t get the pass through. 

A lot more happening in the middle frame as there were 4 goals between the two teams in the second period.  It wasn’t the start to the period that the Saints wanted, as Arjun Atwal from the slot would open the scoring 34 seconds into the period.  Just a minute after, they would put the Cru on the man advantage but fortunately they would kill it off to keep it a one goal deficit.  The Saints would bounce back after that when 4 minutes in, Parker Saretsky on a 2 on 1 would beat Matt Berlin low blocker to tie the game at 1.  Three minutes later, the Saints would get caught on a pinch and Brett Wieschorster also on a 2 on 1 would put the Cru back up by one goal.  The Saints would keep pressing and a little over half way through the period they would answer back.  4 seconds into the Saints powerplay, Parker Saretsky would snip one right off the draw for his second of the game as the Saints tie the game once again 2-2.  A back and forth period would end with the score tied 2-2, shots in the period were 15-7 Saints and 23-10 overall after 40 minutes.

The Saints of the Bonnyville series really started to show up in the third period as they took control of this game.  They threw everything they had at Matt Berlin in the final frame, but he would not let anything past.  The Saints had three opportunities on the powerplay in the third, but they couldn’t complete their chances.  The Crusaders penalty killers came up clutch for them in the period and they were able to hang on.  A lot of the period was spent in the Crusaders zone as the Saints outshot the Cru 16-2 in the final 20 minutes, but this game will have to be settled in sudden death.  Less than 5 minutes into overtime, an unfortunate break for the Saints as they would get caught with too many men.  It wouldn’t take long into the powerplay for Arjun Atwal to make the Saints pay with a one-time blast from the right circle to give the Cru the lead.

They will now head back home for Games 3 and 4 trailing 2-0 in the series, Game 3 is Monday Night at 7:00 PM.

By: Adam Kulak