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Cru Clash With Storm

The Sherwood Park Crusaders will look to start a little run in the early stages of this AJHL season when they entertain the Grand Prairie Storm Wednesday night at the Sherwood Park Arena.

The Cru are coming off a victory Saturday night over the Whitecourt Wolverines.  Led by Andrew Taverner’s hat-trick, Sherwood Park split the home and home series with a thrilling 5-4 win.

“We had a good bounce back effort.”  Said Head Coach Tim Fragle after Saturday’s win.

The bounce back effort was combined with all 4 lines doing their job, something that pleases Fragle.

“I like our depth and now its about finding the right chemistry.”

Another bright spot for the Cru was the Power Play, although allowing a shorthanded goal, it marked the second straight game the Crusaders capitalized on the man advantage.  Fragle noted he still would like to see more from his PP units.

“PP has a long way to go, needs lots of work still.”

Wednesday opponent is the team the Crusaders eliminated in the 1st round of last season’s playoffs 3 games to 1.  The Grande Prairie Storm will bring a brash of physical hockey to the Sherwood Park Arena Wednesday night.

”Storm have depth and we expect a physical tight checking game, we have to earn our goals against one of the league’s best goalie.”

The “one of the league’s best goalie” Fragle speaks of, is Alaskan native and reigning AJHL Goaltender of the Year, Nick Kulmanovsky.

“We need traffic, quick releases and lots of pucks at the net. We have some secrets on how we beat him in the past but cant reveal all of our info.”  Fragle talks about going up against the G.P netminder.

As for the netminding duties for the Crusaders, 16 year old Zac Klassen will get the start.  Klassen, who impressed well in the Pre Season, will be the 3rd goalie to make a start for the Cru this season.  Ethan Wood was dealt the loss in last Friday’s season opener, while Sherwood Park native, Tommy Nixon got his first AJHL victory in Saturday’s defeat of the Whitecourt Wolverines.

The goaltending spots are still very much up for debate in the Crusader Castle.

After Wednesday’s contest the next 3 of 4 games will be on the road for the Cru.  Sherwood Park will look to continue and try and improve on last year’s home record that was 1 game over .500 before venturing out from the Sherwood Park Arena.

Tickets can be purchased at the Crusaders office located at the Sherwood Park Arena, or by calling 780-417-1175.