The Sherwood Park Crusaders lost their third game in a row Friday night, 3-1, at the hands of the Drayton Valley Thunder. A perfectly executed road game by the Thunder held the Cru to only 10 shots through the first 40 minutes.
The Thunder entered the game with the second ranked Power Play in the AJHL at 25%, and proved why the click at that rate. 21 seconds into Drayton Valley’s second opportunity with the man advantage, Thunder captain Luke Madill found the twine off a Jacob Suppes rebound.
The Thunder would add to the lead in the second period off another Power Play marker from Eric Sieben. Sherwood Park was able to pull within a goal, when first year Crusader Arthur Gordon tucked the puck five hole on Drayton Valley Goaltender Mitch Maraschiello, after a nifty pass from Nicholas Jones on a two on one.
The Thunder would restore their two goal lead off the stick of Nathan Smith less than five minutes into the third period.
Maraschiello, had to make some big saves from the 17 he saw throughout the night in the Drayton Valley crease. Fran Gow’s team did a great job of protecting the middle of the ice and forcing the Crusaders to shoot from the outside.
Sherwood Park lost the special teams battle going 0 for 4 on the Power Play and taking penalties at impromptu times. A late Fraser Bulbuc hooking penalty, crippled a Crusader comeback for the second game in a row.
Sherwood Park will look to avoid a fourth straight loss when they host the Lloydminster Bobcats in the first half of a home and home, Sunday afternoon at the Sherwood Park Arena. It will be the first meeting of the season between the two clubs. Lloydminster has struggled early this year, losing six in row prior to their game Saturday night against the Drayton Valley Thunder, and only three wins on the entire year.
For tickets to Sunday’s game, please call the Crusaders office at 780-417-1125.