The Sherwood Park Crusaders are hoping a divisional matchup Wednesday night can get them back to their winning ways, after going 6-3-1 in the month of September, the Crusaders have lost their last 3 games. A weekend down in southern Alberta saw the Crusaders come up empty handed and failing to make ground in the Viterra North Division standings.
Sherwood Park will look to shrug off 2 straight one goal losses as they host the Grand Prairie Storm for the first time this season. The lone team that missed the playoffs in the North Division last year is coming off a big 4-3 Overtime victory Tuesday night over the Whitecourt Wolverines. A win that vaulted the Storm out of last place and sitting 7th in the Division.
The Storm are led by veterans Jade McMullen and Ian Mclellan, who have 10 and 8 points respectively. The one eye opener stat for McMullen, is that he has 6 goals in 12 games, over half as many goals as he did in 41 games last season. The Crusaders will need contain McMullen if they are to be successful Wednesday night.
Defensively for the Storm they return a pair players from last year, Allan MacPherson and Braeden Jones. Combine that with the loss of one of the leagues top Goaltenders in Nick Kulmanovski, it may spell the reason for the Storm’s slow start and allowing 41 goals, which is 3rd worst in the entire Alberta Junior Hockey League.
For the Crusaders, there were some positives in the losses to Canmore, Okotoks and the Calgary Canucks. The team has felt they deserved to win at least 2 of those games if it had not been for a few lucky bounces in favor of the opposition. 2nd year Crusader Reid Bosse had 5 points in the 3 games and has eclipsed last year’s point totals.
The Crusaders may be without Captain Dane Phaneuf who missed Sunday’s game in Calgary due to injury, it will be interesting to see if that’s the case and how the D core plays again without Phaneuf in the lineup.
A few players will look to continue some point streaks Wednesday night, Liam Gregor, who has 4 goals on the season, has scored in 3 straight games and is 1 point shy of a career high with 8. As mentioned, with Reid Bosse’s 5 point weekend, he now has points in 3 straight games.
-Story By Taylor Medak