The Sherwood Park Crusaders showed some character in a convincing 4-0 win over the the Fort McMurray Oil Barons, on Sunday, Jan. 6 in Sherwood Park.
Leading the way with his second shutout of the season was goalie Matt Tomkins.
Tomkins, who early in the first period made a beautiful stop on a partial Baron break, was solid when he needed to be in getting the zero by stopping all 18 shots.
On the scoring side, Nicholas Jones showed some determination by potting two goals and following them up with an assist. Dillon Massie had some step to his game as well, scoring a goal and adding an assist.
“Start to finish, we were really in control of he game,” said head coach Tim Fragle. “In the first period we had three really good penalty kills where we really shut down their power play and I think that helped change the momentum in our favour.”
The Cru showed signs of really wanting a win with a gritty short- handed goal by Garth Wallin. Wallin scored his 31st of the season with help from Dane Phaneuf and Massie, who both assisted on the goal. Then, after three goals in under 10 minutes in the third, Tomkins did the rest, bricking in the net as the Barons couldn’t get anything by him. Neither side had much luck on the power play, with the Barons going 0-5 and the Cru getting one goal on six chances. This win moves the Cru to two points behind the Barons to sit at seventh in the North Division of the Alberta Junior Hockey League standings.
“Our first two games back from the break Dillon Massie has been our most consistent forward,” Fragle said. “He was a guy that we definitely needed to step up and with more ice time and he has raised his game.”
The Cru look to gain more ground in the North with a quick turnaround game on Jan. 8 against the Thunder in Drayton Valley. The Thunder sit fourth in the division, two points ahead of the visiting Cru. The last game between the two division rivals took place on Dec. 1, with the Thunder coming out ahead 5-4. In that game, Jones led Sherwood Park with a goal and an assist.