After being swept 6-0 in the regular season series, the Crusaders are returing to Sherwood Park with a respectable 1-1 split in Fort McMurray to open the first round of playoffs.
Nicolas de Beurs opened the scoring just under halfway into game one, and that stood as the lone goal until Logan Hauer converted on the powerplay to tie things up. Dylan Clark responded with a powerplay goal of his own and Jesse Burchart extended the lead to two heading into the third. Hauer added a second, again on the powerplay, just under three minutes in and captain Bruce MacGregor struck shortly after to tie the game at three. Wyatt Marlow, with four minutes left in the first overtime, ripped a shot from the high slot and sent the Cru into game two with a 4-3 victory.
The following night was less kind, as Gus Bylin made 26 saves and the team fought hard but Brendan Wang’s late first period goal stood as the only offence for either side until Brandon Sacchetti potted an empty netter to ice the 2-0 decision.
Sherwood Park returns home for games three and four on Tuesday and Wednesday.