Crusaders fall short to the Bandits in OT

The Sherwood Park Crusaders looked to bounce back from a 9-3 loss at the hands of the Brooks Bandits on Saturday night, as they hosted those same Bandits. Sherwood Park started Lochlan Gordon in net for this one, while Brooks countered with Jared Whale.

Sherwood Park, AB: The first period saw both teams play a fast-paced style throughout the 20 minutes, with neither team establishing their style of play early on. Brooks got on the board early, as T.J. Hughes beat Lochlan Gordon over the shoulder with a backhanded effort to give the Bandits a 1-0 lead. The teams would trade powerplays for the second half of the period, culminating in a game misconduct to Tim Rego at the end of the period. The score would remain 1-0 after 20 minutes, with Brooks carrying the shot advantage 14-8.

The second period was a special teams extravaganza, as the teams combined for eight minor penalties in the period. Sherwood Park couldn’t seem to capitalize on the man advantage, seeing four powerplays end goalless before Taylor Makar sniped one on a rare Brooks powerplay to extend the Bandits lead. Sherwood Park utilized a bend don’t break style of defense to perfection as a stretch pass from Brandon McCartney sent Zafir Rawji in all alone, and he made no mistake, cutting the lead in half. It didn’t take long for the Crusaders to tie it up, as Vincent Scott took advantage of a funny bounce on the penalty kill to squeeze one through Whale to tie the game. After an interference penalty to Makar ended the Brooks powerplay early and a Brendan Kennette penalty gave the Crusaders a two-man advantage, Ty Mueller scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season to give the Crusaders their first lead of the weekend. However, Brooks wouldn’t lay down potting a late one off the stick of Chris Pappas to tie the game at three heading into the third. Shots favoured the Bandits 30-18 after two.

The third period solved nothing for the two teams, as they traded chances and power plays but couldn’t break the deadlock as the two teams headed to overtime.

The overtime period was short and high flying, as the Brooks Bandits took advantage of a two-on-one break, with Brayden Krieger making a nice move around Gordon and Zach Bookman finished it off as the Bandits take this one excitingly, 4-3 in O.T. Shots favoured the Bandits 40-24 at the end of the game.

The teams will head down QE2 next weekend for a pair of games at the Centennial Regional Arena, starting Friday at 7 p.m.