It’s been awhile since Sherwood park Crusader fans have been treated to a victory at the Sherwood Park Arena. The Cru will look to avoid a seventh straight loss on home ice Wednesday night, as they host the Fort McMurray Oil Barons.
Although six straight losses on home ice seems disturbing, the Cru have played well in the stretch that saw them win last on home ice October 20th in a 5-2 victory over Olds. The Cru have put up games where leads have squandered late in the game and as well out shooting opponents almost two to one in certain games.
The obvious key will be for the Cru to play a complete 60 minutes.
A complete 60 minutes will especially be needed against a Fort Mac team that has taken the Cru to three, one goal games this season. Sherwood Park leads the season series with two wins and one shootout loss. The shootout loss coming most recent, 5-4 on November 24th.
The Cru will look to the likes of Danny Smith and Stefan Bazar for some scoring as they have combined for nine points against the Oil Barons this season, while Garth Wallin, the Cru’s leading scorer, has faired well against the MOB having scored two points in his last outing against the Oil Barons.
A key battle will be the Crusaders looking to take advantage of a depleted Oil Barons lineup. The MOB will be without leading scorer Harrison Hendrix and solid two way forward Justin Fraser. Also, MOB captain Brock Maschmeyer will be out of the lineup for an Oil Baron back end that is already without 2nd year Defenseman Mike Green.
Most notably not in the lineup for Sherwood Park will be Ryan Luiten, who put up some good numbers against the MOB since joining the Cru, will be out of the lineup for the next 3 games after receiving a suspension for a hit from behind in Saturday's 5-4 loss to Drayton Valley. Dillon Massie and Cody Bardock will be absent from the game as well, due to injuries.