Regular Season Game Day Report – September 13/13

Friday the 13th for the Drayton Valley Thunder didn’t go as planned for boys as they went on their second road trip of the season, heading East to Spruce Grove to play the Saints. It was the Saints “unofficial” home opener and the Thunder looked to spoil the party.
The boys came out with hard work and played good defensive hockey, blocking multiple shots throughout the period. The Thunder’s best line consisted of rookie wingers Nakeh Lamothe and Ryley Rimmer and second year center Brayden Harris. The line crashed and bashed and kept the Saints in their own end every time they were on the ice. The Thunder opened the scoring by a slap shot goal from Anthony Kapelke, however the Saints countered just 2 minutes later off a broken play.
The second brought an increase in effort and hard work for the boys as they tried to break the 1 all draw. Finally midway in the period, rookie sensation Michael Cardinal stripped a Saints defender on the blue line and went in shorthanded to snipe the go ahead goal top shelf. Cardinal also added an assist in the game and was named Pro Hockey Life’s Player of the Game for the Thunder.
The final frame was not so kind to the visiting team as they saw the Saints score just 10 seconds into the period on a continuing power play from the dying seconds of the middle period. The Thunder gave everything they had in the period, but they could not solve veteran Saints netminder Kenny Cameron. The Saints added a few more on the power play and ended up sealing a 5-2 victory for the home side.
In his first AJHL regular season start, rookie goaltender Mitch Martell played very well, despite the number on the scoreboard. Martell was integral to keeping the game tied early as he made an incredible toe save on the Saints Riley Simpson as he tried to cut to the net on a partial break. Martell ended up stopping 26 of 31 shots his way.
The boys look to bounce back tonight in their own home opener versus the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. The Thunder have a pre-game BBQ at 5:30pm and then game time at 7:30pm. Bring the kids, family and friends and enjoy some Thunder hockey down at the Omniplex.