The Sherwood Park Crusaders are looking to move past a disappointing 1-0 loss to the Drayton Valley Thunder last Saturday as they travel to Bonnyville to take on the Pontiacs Wednesday night. It will mark the 2nd meeting of the season between the 2 Viterra North Division rivals as the Crusaders took the 1st meeting 4-3 in Overtime.
After a big 6-0 win last Wednesday the Crusaders looked liked they could get on a roll if they carried the play from last Wednesday against Grande Prairie but unfortunately ran into a hot goalie in Garret Mason combined with the inability to execute.
“We had 75 attempts at the net, 35 of them didn’t make it to the net, posts, or were blocked, so we had are fair of chances, just couldn’t execute.” Says GM and Head Coach Tim Fragle.
The Crusaders have also struggled on the man advantage, going 1 for 19 in their last 3 games.
“We’re hanging on to the puck too long at times, we’ll move it around and see an opening and wait a bit then move the puck, by then it’s too late, we need to be quicker.” Noted Fragle.
The Power Play may have to get going Wednesday night as the Pontiacs have the top ranked Power Play in the AJHL at 28.1%, discipline will be key if the Crusaders don’t want to get in a Special Teams battle with Bonnyville.
The Crusaders saw timely scoring in their first game against the Pontiacs back on September 30th, a goal late in the 1st Period along with early goals from Cole Gammer in the 3rd and Overtime Periods, both less than a minute in, helped the Crusaders get the victory.
It is unknown whether Zac Klassen, who stopped 52 of 53 shots last week, will get the start or if Coach Fragle goes with Tommy Nixon, who hasn’t seen action since being pulled in the the October 5th game in Calgary against the Canucks.
The Crusaders have won 2 straight games in Bonnyville which includes Game 3 of last years Gas Drive Cup Playoffs First Round Series.
Story By Taylor Medak