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Crusaders Look To Tame Bobcats

The Sherwood Park Crusaders are hoping they can recreate another result Wednesday night at the Sherwood Park Arena like the one they created on October 18th when they defeated the Lloydminster Bobcats 2-1 in a defensive battle.

Much is to be expected Wednesday night as it was on the 18th with the Crusaders hosting the Bobcats for the 2nd time this season.  Both teams are playing well of late and it has led Wednesday night to being a 4 point game.

The Crusaders are looking to win their 5th game in the last 6 while the Bobcats look to extend a winning streak to 3 games since falling to Sherwood Park on October 18th.  Lloydminster has also won 8 of their last 10. 

If Sherwood Park is to distance themselves from the Bobcats, they will need to bring the effort and determination they had in the last game against Lloydminster, but can also build off some things from their last game, even though they fell 4-1 to Spruce Grove.

“We held [Spruce Grove] to only 14 shots and I thought we were right there with them.”  Said Crusaders GM and Head Coach Tim Fragle.

The Crusaders expect a similar type of game Wednesday night as they saw Sunday against the Saints, tight defensively and not a whole lot of chances, converting on opportunities will be key.

“We played well for close to 40 minutes.  We sagged a bit after their late Power Play goal and the early own goal at the beginning of the 3rd.  We did have our chances again in the 3rd but had too many missed nets and blocks in the Offensive Zone, we need to execute better in the Offensive Zone.”  Fragle added.

As mentioned it was a tight affair on Sunday with both teams combining for 29 shots and it might be similar Wednesday night against the Bobcats as the Crusaders only had 14 shots in the win against Lloydminster on October 18th.

“They have good team Defense and Neutral Zone play.  The margin for error is small.  We need to minimize our mistakes and execute on theirs.” Said Fragle on Wednesday’s game.

One of the biggest issues for the Crusaders right now is the Power Play.  Since Cole Gammer’s Power Play goal on October 15th in Bonnyville against the Pontiacs, the Crusaders have gone 0 for 17 on the Man Advantage and rank last in the AJHL at 10.2%.  They are the only team in the league to not have goals in the double digits on the Power Play.  The Coaching staff has been adamant that even though they aren’t getting the results, they have liked a lot of the looks they have gotten on the Power Play, it just comes down to execution at this point.

What isn’t an issue has been the play of Forward Cameron Brezinski.  The leading goal scorer on the team heading into Wednesday has surpassed last year’s totals in Goals and Points and has been named the Viterra Star Of The Game for 3 straight games, scoring 4 goals and 2 assists in that span.

-Story by Taylor Medak