Cru drop final game of the regular season

Sherwood Park, AB:  Sherwood Park looked to close out their 2020-21 season with a win over the Grande Prairie Storm on Saturday afternoon, after dropping a 1-0 decision to the Storm on Friday. Lochlan Gordon got the start for the Crusaders, while Joe Howe once again got the net for the Storm.

The Crusaders started the game flying, dominating the play for much of the period. This domination led to an abundance of power-play opportunities for the Crusaders. They finally capitalized on one of them, as Cale Ashcroft fired home a one-timer to beat Howe for the first time this weekend. As well as Sherwood Park played, they couldn’t increase the lead, as they took the 1-0 advantage ingot the second. Shots favoured the Crusaders, 15-8 after one.

Grande Prairie turned the tide in the second period, scoring just 35 seconds into the period to tie the game. Ty Toews finished a nice pass from Ethan Strang to tie the game for Grande Prairie. Shortly after, Grande Prairie found themselves on the power play and used it to take the lead. Dan McIntyre found the rebound from a Paycen Bjorklund rush and made it 2-1 just two minutes into the period. The second was a total flip of the script for the Crusaders, who couldn’t get much offence going at all in the frame. The score would remain 2-1 after 40 minutes, with the shots favouring the Storm, 24-21 after two.

The final period of the season for the two teams went a similar way to the second, as Grande Prairie scored early in the period and then capitalized on a power-play shortly after that. Ethan Strang and Paycen Bjorklund scored within a minute of each other to extend the lead to 4-1 and taking the game away from Sherwood Park. The Crusaders had multiple chances, but Howe was equal to them all, stopping all seven shots he faced. Ashton McNelly and Cole Broadhurst dropped the gloves late in the period, as Broadhurst finished his junior career in style. Brett Meerman added an empty netter, and Grande Prairie walked away with a 5-1 win in the season finale. Lochlan Gordon made 25 saves in the game, while Joe Howe made 27 in the win.

Story by Zach Marks