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Game Day Report – August 26/13

The Drayton Valley Thunder played their third exhibition game is four nights on Monday, facing a young Spruce Grove Saints squad. The Saints had 15 players watching from the stands, hoping to make a spot on the team this season. The Thunder saw some good play through the first 20 minutes of the game, but once again penalty trouble took the momentum away from the boys. The Thunder took 4 penalties in the first frame, but fortunately enough the Saints could not capitalize.
The second period was a better showing by the duo of newly acquired Tanner Clarkson and rookie Braden Jakubowski. They teamed up to score the second goal of the frame on a nice setup by Jakubowski. But it was veteran Nathan Smith who got the Thunder on the board earlier in the period on a scramble play by the Saints net. Thunder goaltender Marc-Olivier Daigle played two full periods, stopping 21 of 23 shots, however majority of his work was done in the first frame.
The third period brought 16 year old local goaltender Jaedon McConnell into the net for the Thunder. Jaedon played well for his first taste of AJHL hockey, however surrendered 4 goals on 18 shots in the period alone, one via the power play. The Thunder's lackluster play in front of McConnell made it difficult for the young net minder to find his groove that he has shown throughout training camp.
The Thunder will get back to work tomorrow with a practice, and then will head on over to Spruce Grove on Wednesday to tackle the Saints once again. After their date with the Saints the boys head to Peace River for the annual AJHL exhibition tournament, a tournament in which the Thunder are defending champions.
The Thunder home opener is slated for Saturday September 14th, 2013 when the Fort McMurray Oil Barons come to town.