April 14, 2018 - The Newmarket Saints traveled to Orangeville for their final tune-up games ahead of the 2018 season. The team had a battle before even hitting the floor, as a spring ice storm made the commute messy. Once there, things didn’t get any easier as the first game was against the defending Founder’s Cup Champions - the Orangeville Northmen.
Due to the weather, the Saints dressed only 15 runners, including several Midget players. The hosts countered with a full, but young, lineup. Starting in goal were Cory Campbell, making his Saints debut, while Adam Brennan got the call for the Northmen.
The Northmen came ready to play from the first whistle , taking it to the Saints early on. Campbell fended off several good looks, until Tanner Buck broke through to open the scoring at the six minute mark. Quinten Schneider followed up a few minutes later to make it 2-0 Orangeville.
Through the end of the first and into the second, the Northmen continued their attack, but tighter defense and the strong play of Campbell kept them at bay. That is until Buck struck for his second. 43 seconds later, Brett Draper made it 4-0.
The Northmen looked ready to run away with it, but a high-sticking penalty put the Saints on the Power Play and Connor Lint buried an outside shot to put them on the board. Liam Hamilton cut the lead in half five minutes later, quickly followed by Luca Romano, whose outside shot made it 4-3. The Northmen got one back before the end of the second, thanks to Grayson Houghton.
The Saints pushed the pace to open the third period and it payed off. Kavon Pinnock made a great play defensively, took off on a breakaway and picked the bottom corner to make it 5-4. But that’s as close as it would get. The Northmen picked up their play, stifling the Saints the rest of the way. Buck added his third goal and Liam Smith scored late to make it 7-4.
It was a competitive game overall and one that set the tone for the rest of the day. Next up for the Saints - an afternoon game versus the Owen Sound North Stars.