The Drayton Valley Thunder came into their first Tuesday night game of the season ready, on a high note because of the comeback win on Friday versus the Grande Prairie Storm. Not to be outdone, the visiting Spruce Grove Saints came to the Omniplex with swagger as they defeated the number one team in Junior hockey, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. Both teams looked to continue their streaks.
The first period was a shaky start for the boys in white as they allowed 3 goals. The Saints had more jump than the Thunder, but they still battled hard creating chances on starting Saints goaltender, Tanner McCorriston. The Saints ended up outshooting the Thunder by a 13-7 margin and went into the break with a 3-0 lead.
The second brought a better period by the home team, they continued to press but pucks bounced over sticks or they hit the posts. The chances were going the way of the visiting team and the Thunder could not convert on two power plays in the period. The Saints capitalized on a Thunder penalty by Dallen Hall to make it 4-0 heading to the third period.
The final frame was exciting to watch, but before anyone of the 428 fans could make it back to their seats, Saints forward Dylan Hollman scored just as a Thunder penalty expired 25 seconds into the period. Thunder rookie Braden Jakubowski had his name written all over the game sheet, mostly in the penalty box, as he got into a early scrap with Saints Tristan Reimer after a hit along the boards. Jakubowski handled himself very well and chalked up the decision, to the delight of the home town crowd. Jakubowski ended the game with 29 penalty minutes. The boys were able to score late in the third period, spoiling the shut out when Tanner Clarkson potted his 6th of the season on the power play, Mathieu Lapointe and Nathan Smith got assists.
Tuesday night marked the return of defenseman Chris Kravchuk as he has been out the past 5 games due to transfer issues and newly acquired Jamie Waddington made his Thunder debut and was effective on the second line.
The next Thunder home game is this Friday when the Thunder host a South division opponent in the Canmore Eagles. The night also sparks Roger Coles Night. Fans will get a chance to honor a great member of our community and Thunder family with a pre-game ceremony. Game time is 7:30pm at the Omniplex.