Slow out of the gate, strong finish towards the exit.
The Sherwood Park Crusaders (9-5-0) took on the Drayton Valley Thunder (7-8-2) on Wednesday, ramping things up for a 5-1 win after coming off an 8-2 loss over the Whitecourt Wolverines (8-3-3) last Friday.
A slow, scoreless first period led to a strong second block for the Cru, who scored four goals in just over 10 minutes, with Andrew Taverner leading the pack in picking up two, while Danny Smith and Nicholas Jones picked up one apiece.
“In the first period, we had only seven shots. And we keep a stat of pucks that don’t get to the net,” Crusader head coach and general manager Tim Fragle said.
“We keep that stat, and there were 14 of them in the first period. They had five missed nets, and you have to get those to the net to make the goalie make the save. In the second period, we forced him to make the save. A couple of our goals weren’t great goals, but if you force a goalie to make a save, you keep him honest. I think that was the difference, and the pucks got through.”
The third period saw one more Crusader goal by Ben Carroll, and while the Thunder were able to dump one in on the power play late in the game, the Cru were still strong in a 5-1 win.
The biggest story for the Cru as of late, though, might not be the win at all, as the team has lost all-star goalie Matt Tomkins to a high ankle sprain.