April 3, 2011
Saints keep marching
By CON GRIWKOWSKY, QMI Agency
EDMONTON - SPRUCE GROVE — Now that they’ve warmed up, how much better can the Spruce Grove Saints get?
After their display in a convincing 3-1 win over the Camrose Kodiaks last night, you start to wonder.
Spruce Grove won its 10th straight game in their 2011 Enerflex Cup march with a solid two-way performance before a standing-room only crowd at Grant Fuhr Arena.
They got a pair of goals from Scott Allen, one from Michael Claffey and a disallowed goal on a penalty call.
Allen now has five goals in the playoffs, tying him for the team lead with Josh Keizer.
“It was a fun game,” said Allen, who also blocked a pair of shots and was tenacious is the defensive zone. “We just came out with a good, solid game for three periods and the systems are pretty tight.”
Allen also had a close-in chance late in the first.
“That one wouldn’t have mattered anyway,” said Allen about losing a potential hat-trick. “We just want to win game in and game out and that’s what we’re trying to do.
“I try to pride myself on being a complete player in the offensive zone and the defensive zone. As much as I work on my shot, I work on blocking shots and other things defensively.”
John Lidgett got the Kodiaks’ only goal as Spruce Grove peppered beleagured Camrose goalie Dalyn Flette with 40 shots.
Now, Spruce Grove is two wins away from representing Alberta in the Doyle Cup for the second straight year.
“I thought our power play was better,” said Saints coach Jason McKee.
“They turned over a couple of pucks in their own end and we were fortunate enough to take advantage.
“Scott is a guy who’s been here for three or four years. It seems he always elevates his play in the big games. In all three zones, he’s a real reliable guy for us.”
Camrose head coach Boris Rybalka put the loss down to his team’s second-period lapse, when the Saints outshot the Kodiaks 26-5.
“I wasn’t impressed with our second period,” said Rybalka. “Against a good hockey team, you can’t stand around and not skate. It was pond hockey. Give them full credit, because they took full advantage of it.
“The biggest thing is when we skate, we’re good; when we don’t, we’re average.”
Local MP Rona Ambrose was part of the official puck-dropping ceremony ... Ben Gallacher of the Kodiaks was back in the lineup after serving a three-game suspension, but had to change his number when he forgot his jersey in Camrose ... Rylan Weist will be back in the Kodiaks lineup from his two-game suspension when the series swings to Camrose on Monday night ... Vernon beat Powell River 3-1 in the first game of the BCHL final.