Sherwood Park, AB: The Sherwood Park Crusaders returned to the Sherwood Park Arena this evening after spending last week on the road in Bonnyville and Spruce Grove. It was the Okotoks Oilers who made the trip to the Edmonton suburb for their lone regular-season visit of the season. With Carter Savoie, Michael Benning and Carter Gylander still away with Team Canada West, Ashton McNelly was called up from the Fort Saskatchewan MAAA Rangers to make his AJHL debut. Along with McNelly, Liam Hughes and Drew Sim were called up as affiliates too. Billy Sowa also made his Crusaders debut after being reassigned by the Swift Current Broncos (WHL) earlier this week.
Sherwood Park didn?t get off to a strong start. Brayden Morrison scored his eighth of the season on only the Oilers second shot of the game. The Oilers continued to put pressure on the Crusaders blue line throughout the first period putting 21 shots in on Jordan Frey. Sherwood Park managed only four for themselves.
However, the Crusaders returned the pressure in the second frame outshooting the Oilers 12-5. Two of those shots made it by Ashton Abel in Okotoks goal. The first came from Will Zapernick (University of Alabama-Huntsville) after Arjun Atwal sprung him on a breakaway. Then, with just under three minutes to play in the period, Jarred White netted his 20th of the season to give the Crusaders their first lead of the game.
Sherwood Park started the third period positively scoring two goals in the opening ten minutes from Zapernick and White, again. Connor Hart also got in on the action blasting a slap shot by Abel to give the Crusaders a 5-1 lead. Okotoks did get a second goal late in the period from Morrison for his second of the game.
Between the pipes, Jordan Frey stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced to pick up his 11th win of the season.
With the win, the Crusaders moved to 27-3-0 and remain first in the North Division. They?re back in action on Friday night versus the Spruce Grove Saints at the Sherwood Park Arena. Tickets for that game are available here.