Photo Credit – Absent Light Photography:
The Saints picked up right where they left off in Games 3 and 4 as they exploded for 5 goals in Sherwood Park on Friday. Nick Leyer had two goals, and Basnett, Fyten and Ganie would get the others as the Saints are now one win away from heading back to the AJHL Finals. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, the Saints would go with the same lineup again as Games 3 and 4. With Matt Davis in net, the Saints would look to take their first lead of the series as we go to the opening period.
The first period of this game had similarities to Game 4, the Cru came out with a strong first few minutes, but the Saints weathered it and settled in as the period went on. Both teams with a couple missed plays in transition, but the Saints’ puck pursuit was very good. The Saints opened the scoring for the 4th time in the 5 games. On the doorstep, Nick Leyer would bury the loose puck off a rebound as the Saints capitalized on their first and only opportunity on the powerplay in the period. Nick Leyer has been a bit snake bitten so far in these playoffs, he’s had a lot of opportunities throughout this playoff run so to see him get a big goal like that was a great boost for the Saints. Shots were 10-10 as the first 20 minutes would end with the Saints up 1-0.
The Saints came out with a strong second period as they had most of the chances. Cole Basnett would give the Saints a 2-0 lead 3 minutes in off a shot from the slot. The Saints would give the Cru two opportunities on the powerplay in the middle frame, but the penalty killers did their job. The shots in the period were 15-6 Saints.
The Saints continued their strong play in the third period and that’s when the flood gates started to open. Three minutes in on a powerplay, Logan Ganie with a slick move to set up Seth Fyten who went back door to give the Saints a 3-0 lead. Halfway through the period, Nick Leyer would get his second of the night, making it 4-0. With 3 minutes left, Nick Leyer set up Logan Ganie back door to make it 5-0 as the Saints would pour it on in the final 20 minutes. The Cru would break the shutout with 30 seconds left off a breakaway from Brandon Wallis, however, the Saints would finish them off 5-1 in Game 5 and now take a 3-2 series lead.
The Saints will now look to close this series out on home ice on Sunday night at the Grant Fuhr Arena, puck drop at 7:00 PM.
By: Adam Kulak