Crusaders Battle Canucks

The Sherwood Park Crusaders are looking to continue their good start in 2014, they have won 4 of their 6 games to start the new year and look to win back to back games for the second time this month when they face the Calgary Canucks Wednesday night at the Sherwood Park Arena.

The Crusaders are coming off a huge 2-1 victory Sunday afternoon over the Drayton Valley Thunder.

“We grit out a win in our 3rd game in 3 days.”  Said Crusaders GM and Head Coach Tim Fragle.

It was a tight game from start to finish, even after the Crusaders had pulled ahead early in the 3rd period, courtesy of Andrew Taverner.

“[Andrew] is counted on and get opportunities in key situations, he has been good since the start of 2014.”  Said Fragle.

Taverner’s game winner was the second straight for him and gave him 6 on the season, which is 3rd best in the AJHL.

This weekend also saw improvements in the team’s poise when it comes to preserving a lead in tight games.  Early on in the season there were certain games where the Crusaders had squandered the lead and failed to pick up 2 points.

“We have improved in that area and need to continue to if we want to win in the playoffs.” Fragle added.

Although the weekend ended on a positive note, the Crusaders aren’t where they want to be in the standings in the AJHL’s North Division as they are 4 points back of 3rd place Lloydminster heading into Wednesday’s action.

“We’re never happy with 4 out of 6 points.  I was disappointed with our game Saturday night against Lloydminster after a tough win against them Friday night.”  Fragle says recapping the weekend.

The attention now shifts to Wednesday night’s game against the South’s last place team, the Calgary Canucks.  The Canucks are bound to come into Wednesday’s game a little frustrated as they have lost 2 in a row and were outscored 16 to 6 in those 2 games.  The Canucks have also picked up a victory over the Crusaders this season when Sherwood Park made a visit to the Max Bell Arena back in November.

“We need a good start and push the pace of the game.  We also need to have good scoring habits.”  Says Fragle on the keys to Wednesday’s game.

The Crusaders will look to avoid going down early as that was their Achilles heel in the November game in Calgary. 
This will be a rare 3rd meeting between the 2 teams, as the Crusaders picked up a win at the AJHL Showcase in September by a score of 4-3.

The Crusaders are a little banged up heading into this game, especially on the back end.  Fragle has called up Brendan Kallis from the St. Albert Midget AAA program to fill the void on defense.

For tickets to Wednesday’s game please call the Crusaders Box Office at 780-417-1175 or purchase your ticket at the Sherwood Park Arena right up until game time at 7pm.