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Crusaders Snap Skid

Like in life, there is no constant, and all things must come to an end.  That’s what exactly occurred on two fronts at the Sherwood Park Arena Friday night.  The Sherwood Park Crusaders ended their 9 game losing streak while ending the Spruce Grove Saint’s 16 game winning streak with a 3-1 victory.

The Saints were looking for their 2nd win this season at the Sherwood Park Arena and their 3rd straight against the Crusaders.

A rope-a-dope 1st period that saw no scoring was followed by one heck of a wild 2nd.

During a Spruce Grove Power Play in the early part of the 2nd period, Crusader Forward Cameron Brezinski forced a turnover at his own blue line.  The first year Crusader proceeded to rush down the left side and let one rip toward Saints Goaltender Kenny Cameron. 

The shot was hard enough that it went in and out of the net as fast as it was shot.  No signal had been made from any official or goal judge.  Play had gone on for almost 20 seconds including a chance for the Saints.  At the next stoppage, the on ice officials came together and discussed the shot.  Referee Cody Rude went over to where the goal judge was situated, a conversation through glass that mirrored a visitor/prisoner conversation , resulted in a goal being awarded to the Crusaders.  Brezinski’s 2nd goal of the year.

A minute and forty seconds later, the Crusaders had dumped the puck into the Saints zone, 1 Crusader player had followed the play into the Saints zone, Jake Mykitiuk.  A Spruce Grove defender came around the net to the blocker side of Cameron not realizing where Mykitiuk was, and with a slight poke, Mykitiuk was able to knock the puck off the Saint’s player stick and get the puck past Kenny Cameron.

2-0 Crusaders after 40 minutes.

The Saints wouldn’t go quietly however, Tyler Robertson was able to solve Goaltender Tommy Nixon nearly under 5 minutes into the 3rd period on the Power Play.  The Crusaders were able to fend off the Saints and add an empty net goal at the hands of Andrew Taverner.

“We had a big meeting yesterday, everyone bought in today and that’s the reason we are out of this slump.”  Taverner said, who played his 2nd game since returning from the World Junior A Challenge.

Taverner hopes that effort and buying in can translate into Saturday night’s game against the top ranked team in the CJHL, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons.

“It’s a really quick turn around and [if we] play with that mindset we did tonight, be strong defensively and work our way up the ice from there, and if we do that, there’s no way we can’t win.”  Taverner added.

The Crusaders have only met the Oil Barons once this season, with the MOB winning a close 2-0 game at the Sherwood Park Arena back on October 11th.

Game time is 7pm at the Sherwood Park Arena, tickets can be purchased at the Crusaders Box Office at the Sherwood Park Arena.