Crusaders feed Wolverines

Even though they outshot visiting Whitecourt 54 to 21, the Cru fell 6-4 to the high-powered Wolverines on Sunday, Jan. 13.

“We were right there,” Crusaders head coach Tim Fragle said. “Outshooting a team like that, outplaying a team like that, if we had not made those errors tonight who knows. Our goaltending wasn’t that great, but at the same time we had some big breakdowns in front of them. Out of the six goals tonight, we thought five of them were our mistakes. We have to fix that; shore that up. Instead of making five in the first, try to make only two or three. It makes a big difference.”

The Wolverines scored early and often, chasing Matt Tomkins from the game at the end of the first period.

The fired-up Jacob Suppes started the second period and fared well, but in the end let in the same number of goals as Tomkins.

With Whitecourt leading 5-0 halfway through the second, the onslaught was somewhat slowed as Crusader Andrew Taverner scored a power play goal on a feed from home team first star Sean MacTavish.

The Cru tried to make a game of it by scoring two more to open the third, however trading goals back and forth with the Wolverines saw the game end with a flurry of effort on the ice, but a loss on the scoresheet.

“They scored early,” Fragle said. “At the same time, we took the play to them in the first as well. Two of the three goals were because of us losing one-on-one battles. The third was an unfortunate one, they got a lucky bounce and we thought there should have been a whistle there. Before you know it we are down 3-0. From start to finish tonight, we were the better team, but we didn’t get the bounces from the hockey gods.”

MacTavish ended the game with a goal and an assist with the same total being echoed by teammate Danny Smith. Ryan Luiten and Andrew Taverner scored the other two goals for the Cru. Up next are the Lloydminster Bobcats.

“We have two practices here on Monday and Tuesday and a big game for us Wednesday,” Fragle added. “We host Lloydminster here and we need to rebound from this game. We need to rebound and not just be happy that we outplayed teams, we need to get better results.”

With the three consecutive losses, and no movement at the trade deadline, the Cru currently sit seventh out of eight in the North Division of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. The Bobcats sit second to last overall, and are nine points behind the Cru in the North.

On Jan. 11, the Cru lost to the Camrose Kodiaks 5-2. Garth Wallin and Andrew Taverner scored the goals for the Cru, while Stefan Bazar garnered the away star award.

Sherwood Park News