The Sherwood Park Crusaders were in Bonnyville last night playing in front of a sold out RJ Lalonde Arena for the Pontiacs home opener.
The opening period saw the travelling Crusaders head into the intermission with a 3-1 lead. Erik Miller got the first goal of the game early in the period after his shot bounced off a Pontiacs' defenseman's skate and in. The Bonnyville Pontiacs responded promptly, however, with a goal from Bobby Young just two minutes later. In the final few minutes of the first, Will Zapernick came alive and continued his hot form scoring his fourth goal in as many games on the powerplay to give his team the lead once again. Shortly after, a scrum behind the Bonnyville goal resulted in the Crusaders getting the odd-man advantage for the third time in the period. A little over a minute into the powerplay, Zapernick put home his second of the game with the assist coming from Carter Savoie for his fourth assist and fifth point of the season.
Sherwood Park came out strong to start the second, but a hooking penalty on Arjun Atwal put the Pontiacs on the powerplay less than two minutes in. Marc-Antoine Benoit made them pay for that penalty scoring his first of the season to make it 3-2. The aggressive play was notched up a level with both teams getting into scrums after almost every whistle. A total of 11 penalties were called in the period including four game misconducts.
After the final intermission, the Crusaders were put on an early powerplay after Luke Albert was called for hooking. The puck was sent down the ice, and behind the Sherwood Park net then, some miscommunication led to the Pontiacs sliding the puck into an empty Crusades goal to tie the game up shorthanded. Sherwood Park continued to press and put shots on the Pontiacs goal but could not get anything else passed Colby Muise. After 60 minutes, the game was tied at 3-3 which meant we were heading to overtime.
Overtime saw both teams have a couple of great chances to grab the win. The best chance for the Crusaders came from Tyler Jette he's stick just was not long enough to poke the puck around Muise. Bonnyville would steal the win 2:49 into the extra frame from Lucas Thorne.
You can catch the Crusaders in action next on Sunday, September 23rd at the Sherwood Park Arena against the Olds Grizzlys. Tickets can be bought right here.