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Blackfalds Bulldogs head into break with loss

Saints 5 Bulldogs 3
The Blackfalds Bulldogs have cooled off in the latter stages of 2022. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Saints 5 Bulldogs 3

The Blackfalds Bulldogs were sent into the Christmas break on a sour note Tuesday, suffering a 5-3 loss at the hands of the Spruce Grove Saints in Alberta Junior Hockey League action.

The Bulldogs rattled off four straight wins to start December, before going 1-3 over their next four.

In Tuesday’s loss in Spruce Grove, the Saints outshot the Bulldogs 47-21.

Blackfalds opened the scoring just 3:03 into the game on a goal from Otto Hanson. Saints’ Carter Oakenfold did all the damage in the second for the visitors, with a power of goals, including a power play tally to open up a 2-1 lead.

The Bulldogs battled back with power-play goals just 45 seconds apart in the third by Tyler Wallace and Brett Meerman.

Luigi Benincasa tied the game at three and restored the advantage with his second of the night with 2:08 to play. Ethan Leyer buried an empty net goal to seal the victory.

Matthew Hennessey made 42 saves for the Bulldogs in the loss, while Jameson Kaine stopped 18 of 21 shots in the victory. Wallace was named first star for his efforts with a goal and an assist.

The Bulldogs will finish 2022 with a home-and-home against the Central Alberta rival Olds Grizzlys. Blackfalds will host the Grizzlys on Dec. 30 at 7 p.m., before playing in Olds at 4 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

Blackfalds sits fourth in the AJHL South division with a 19-12-2-2 record. The Grizzlys are eighth in the division, with a 12-21-3 mark.