Lloydminster, SK: The Sherwood Park Crusaders took the trip east to Lloydminster on Saturday, looking to finish their exhibition series strong, having already won four of the five games. The Crusaders would receive a boost, as Nick Bowman returned to the lineup for the first time since 2019. Lloydminster sent Kolby Thornton in between the pipes, while Sherwood Park countered with Blake Dehr.
The first period was quiet on the scoresheet, as Nick Magis scored the lone goal of the frame, with the assist going to Zafir Rawji. While the scoreboard was quiet, the penalty box was cramped, as the Bobcats had four penalties called against them, while the Crusaders had two. Neither team could capitalize on the advantage. Shots were 10-4 for Sherwood Park at the end of 20.
Things got going in a big way in the second period, as both teams found the net twice, while both sides picked up more penalty minutes, as the Bobcats took three, and the Crusaders took two in the period.
Lloydminster capitalized on penalties as Tyler Schendel tied things up for Lloydminster. The score would remain for close to half the period, before Friday night?s hero, Ty Mueller, beat Thornton to retake the lead for Sherwood Park. Ethan Aucoin answered for Lloydminster, before Liam Hughes scored a powerplay goal for the Crusaders, to take a 3-2 lead into the third. Shots were 14-6 in the period, for a total of 24-10 after two.
Lloydminster started the third off right, burying the tying goal just three minutes into the period, off the stick of Chad MacLean. That was the end of the night for Dehr, as he allowed 3 goals on 12 shots. Carson Cherepak replaced him for the rest of the period. Momentum switched quickly afterwards, as Sherwood Park took advantage of a pair of 5 on 3 power plays to take a 5-3 lead. Both goals came courtesy of Connor Hart, who played in his first game of the exhibition series. Aucoin would make things tight down the stretch with his second of the game, but Lloydminster couldn?t find an equalizer and the Crusaders hung on for a 5-4 win. Thornton made 38 saves in the loss, while Cherepak earned the win, stopping 10 of 11 he faced.