Bulldogs miss the mark with 6-3 loss against Saints

Article Credit: Alessia Proietti, rdnewsNOW
Photo Credit: Scott Stimson, Blackfalds Bulldogs

Their third of four road consecutive games, the Blackfalds Bulldogs lost 6-3 against the Spruce Grove Saints on Wednesday at the Grant Fuhr Arena.

The Bulldogs were going 1-1 during their three-week long road trip across the province’s BCHL home cities.

The Saints came hot out of the gate in the first period, with Evan Sundar scoring within the first two minutes on Bulldogs goaltender Gabe Gratton, opening the scoreboard 1-0.

Later, Spruce Grove’s Keifer Miller scored at 15:33, putting the team in a 2-0 lead.

Just 14 seconds later, the home team scored again, with the goal made by Dylan Ruptash, tripling their lead 3-0.

At this point, Blackfalds swapped out goaltender Gratton for Wilson Maxfield.

The Saints were greatly outshooting the Bulldogs 20-5 after 20 minutes of play.

After multiple power play opportunities on both sides in the second period, the Bulldogs capitalized at 16:42, holding a two-man advantage as the Spruce Grove’s Evan and Ethan Sundar sat in the box for high sticking and roughing penalties, respectively. Tanner Willick blasted a goal from the high slot, with Dakota MacIntosh and Brendan Ross getting the helpers, putting the team behind 3-1.

However, with Blackfalds’ Hunter Brown getting a tripping penalty in the final minute, the Saints’ Daniel North scored a power play goal with just nine seconds left in regulation.

The home team now leading 4-1, it was the Bulldogs who had more shots on goal in the second period (16-11).

A rough start to the final period brought the Saints another goal by Ethan Kronewitt at 6:42, pushing their lead 5-1.

At 15:32, Blackfalds’ Josh Sale backhanded a goal at the doorstep. With Otto Hanson and Kody Willick getting the apples, they were now behind 5-2.

Two Bulldogs, Hanson and Luke Dahlen, were sent to the penalty box shortly after for roughing, as well as Ryan Johnstone from the Saints, leaving the home team with the man advantage.

Ruptash capitalized once again on the power play for Spruce Grove at 16:24, placing the team in a 6-2 lead.

But less than 20 seconds later, the Bulldogs Ben Feenan scored a goal with a seeing-eye shot from the blue line. With the help of James Johnson and MacIntosh, the team closed the game at 6-3 behind the Saints.

Spruce Grove outshot Blackfalds 13-8 in the third period.

Shots on goal

BFB: 29

SGS: 44

Power play

BFB: 1/3

SGS: 1/4

Three stars

1st: Dylan Ruptash (SGS) – 2G, 1A

2nd: Evan Sundar (SGS) – 1G, 1A

3rd: Brendan Ross (BFB) – 1A

The win keeps the Saints in fourth place among Alberta teams in the BCHL with a record of 2-3-2-0 while the loss has the Bulldogs in third place at 4-4-1-0.

The Bulldogs will head to their last road game on Friday against the Okotoks Oilers. Face off is at 7 p.m. at the Okotoks Centennial Arena with the broadcast live on Mixlr.

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