The Sherwood Park Crusaders are looking to build off a momentous win from Saturday night when they travel to Whitecourt to take on the Wolverines for the first time this season Wednesday night. The Crusaders picked up their first win of the season with a 3-2 Overtime victory Saturday in Spruce Grove. The game was the second half of a home and home between the 2 clubs, which saw the Saints come out on top 3-1 in Sherwood Park.
“We were inconsistent on Friday thus not helping getting a different result. On Saturday we played a better game in all areas and earned a better result.” Says Crusaders GM and Head Coach Tim Fragle.
The Crusaders showed signs of greatness in Friday’s loss, but as coach Fragle said, were inconsistent. Something that has been consistent has been the play of the Crusader Goaltenders. Both Zac Klassen and Tommy Nixon saw action this past weekend and held their own.
“Both gave us a chance to win and at times helped weather the storm as the Saints attack is dynamic.” Said Fragle on his Goaltending.
Sherwood Park will need that same kind of effort from whoever starts Wednesday night in Whitecourt. The Crusaders will also be hoping Forward Daniel Wray can continue his offensive output as he led the way this past weekend for the Cru with 2 goals and 1 assist.
“If you work hard you’ll get rewarded, I think [Tim] is a big believer in that and so am I. I think that is why we won, we were the harder working team.” Said Wray, who scored a Short Handed goal in Saturday’s win.
“[Daniel] played solid at both ends of the ice and capitalized on a few chances. He is playing like a leader should.” Said Fragle of the second year Crusader.
The Crusaders saw some excellent effort from the younger players that included some late shifts in the games on the weekend. Reid Bosse had chances, in his first game of the year, on Friday to score when given the opportunity and picked up an assist in Saturday’s win.
“Bosse made a good step forward since returning from injury and getting into his first action of the season.” Fragle said.
Wednesday night will be a tough task for the Crusaders if they want to emulate their start from last season that saw them win 8 of their first 11 games. The Wolverines return their third leading scorer from last season in Trace Elson but have added, like always, a plethora of Offensive talent.
“Deep offensively and strong returning core on Defense. This will be a very difficult test for us tonight!” Says Fragle.
Leading the way right now for the Wolverines are newcomers Alec Jon Banville and John Mullaly with 5 points each.
The Crusaders picked up only 1 win last season at the Scott Safety Centre and have 3 wins in 6 visits to Whitecourt since the Wolverines relocated from St. Albert.
“They are good at home and always have a good crowd that gets behind their team.” Fragle noted.
Sherwood Park will travel to Drayton Valley Friday before hosting the Olds Grizzlys Sunday Afternoon at the Sherwood Park Arena.
Story By Taylor Medak