The Cru suffered another shootout loss, but came away with a point, as Fort McMurray Oil Barons goalie Tanner Jaillet stole the show in a 4-3 set-back for the Cru.
Oil Barons head coach Gord Thibodeau told Sun Media, “Tanner Jaillet got a win for us tonight, we were brutal. Defence was atrocious, wouldn’t touch anybody all night, wouldn’t make anybody pay. We gave them three free goals. Tanner was the only guy defensively who showed up tonight and he was outstanding.”
The Cru (23-19-7), have earned points in their last three contests, but currently sit in seventh in the Alberta Junior Hockey League standings. They are two points behind the Drayton Valley Thunder (25-19-5) in the North Division with 53 points.
The win puts the Oil Barons (27-19-4) five points ahead of the Cru in the standings as well.
The game saw goals from Crusaders Ryan Luiten and Adam Hoghrabi with Luiten getting the away star of the game.
Goalie Matt Tomkins put in another strong performance, stopping 35 of 38 shots to keep the game close.
Earlier this week, Tomkins was named AJHL player of the week for the week of Jan. 21 to 27. “Tomkins stopped 98 of 101 shots faced in 140 minutes of action, including a 54-save performance in a victory over the Spruce Grove Saints (28-13-7). Tomkins posted a 1.29 GAA and a .970 save percentage over that week and was named the Pro Hockey Life Player of the game in both of his starts,” reads the player of the week press release.
Garth Wallin currently leads the Cru in scoring with 14 goals and 29 assists for 43 points and is 37 points back of AJHL leading scorer Mathiewu Guertin of the Whitecourt Wolverines, who has 35 goals and 45 assists.
Up next for the Cru is the North Division leading Spruce Grove Saints in Spruce Grove at the Grant Fuhr Arena on Friday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. Their next home game is on Sunday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. against the AJHL leading Brooks Bandits (44-2-2).