The Sherwood Park Junior A Crusaders had a lot at stake heading into this weekend’s back-to-back games against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons, but at the end of it all, the two-game stretch might as well not even have happened.
Falling far from their second-place positioning early in the season, the Crusaders (13-11-4) have found their way down the rankings to sixth place in the North Division of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
It’s been weeks that the Oil Barons (13-12-4) have sat right beneath them in seventh place.
Had the Barons taken both games this past weekend, the Cru would have fallen even further down the pipe, but with the weekend being split at one game apiece, not much has effectively changed.
The Crusaders took to the ice with a point to make in Friday night’s high-scoring bout in Fort Mac, when the Park players pulled off a 5-4 win.
Although the MOB stole the first goal of the night, Crusader forward Danny Smith was quick to respond to tie things at 1-1 heading into the second period.
Life was sparked, and the Crusaders scored three consecutive goals from Bowen Croft, Eric Liknes — who recently returned from internal injuries — and Andrew Taverner, making it a 4-1 game heading into the third period.
That was when a breakdown jeopardized the team’s streak, as Fort Mac had a three-goal streak of its own, tying things up and forcing the game into overtime. Only just over a minute into the extra period, however, Crusader Marshall Donald found the back of the net for the Cru, giving them the win and snapping a four-game losing streak.