Saints down Storm in shootout

The Spruce Grove Saints downed the Grande Prairie Storm 4-3 in a thrilling shootout win Friday night at the Grant Fuhr Arena. File photo

t’s a perfect 3-0 season start for the Spruce Grove Saints.

The Saints continued their winning streak Friday night with a thrilling, come from behind, 4-3 shootout win against the Grande Prairie Storm.

In the first of two games this weekend at the Grant Fuhr Arena, the Saints were strong out of the gate, setting the pace for the hard hitting, gritty matchup against last season’s first playoff round opponent.

Despite the intensity, the game remained scoreless after 20 minutes.

Late in the second frame, Grande Prairie’s Paycen Bjorklund found the back of the net, giving his team a one goal lead with just under three minutes remaining in the period. Less than a minute later, Brett Meerman widened the Storm’s lead, making it 2-0 after 40 minutes.

The third period saw a flurry of action in front of the Storm’s netminder, Garin Bjorklund, who was stellar between the pipes for Grande Prairie, but the Saints kept the pressure on until Adam Hall scored for Spruce Grove early in the final frame, netting his first goal of the season to make it a 2-1 game.

The pace continued and Grand Prairie regained their two-goal lead with a marker by Max Giangualano. The Saints Jake Aston closed the gap with a goal just before the halfway mark of the third period.

Saints Nicola Jovanovic tied the game at 3-3 with just over a minute left in regulation.

Overtime solved nothing and the game needed a shootout to decide a winner.

After six rounds, the Spruce Grove Saints were victorious, thanks to stellar goaltending from Blake Lyda and shootout hero Luigi Benincasa.

The Saints and Storm are back on the ice Saturday night, Nov.21, for game two at the Grant Fuhr Arena. Puck drop is 7 p.m.

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