Crusaders Weather Storm in OT Victory

The Sherwood Park Crusaders picked up where they left off before the holiday break as they picked up their second straight victory with a 6-5 Overtime Win against the Grande Prairie Storm on Wednesday night.

The Win wasn’t the most pretty of the Crusaders 21 victories so far in 2016-17, but it was a Win and the Crusaders found a way to beat a team they needed to beat.

Both teams squandered a lead five times in Wednesday night’s Game, Grande Prairie with three and the Crusader with two, and the second lead blown by the Crusaders was with 15 Seconds left in the hockey game.

The were positives for both teams, Grande Prairie looked much better than their last appearance at the Sherwood Park Arena back on November 30th, losing 7-2 to Sherwood Park.

For the Crusaders, the positive was the play of the fourth line, new addition Gage Joel had what he thought might be a Game Winner after scoring 7:54 into the third Period, however it was negated by the late tying Goal from the Storm.

Ryan Rebelato had his best night offensively as a Crusader as the Calgary, AB product scored two Goals and added an Assist.  Rebelato could have had a Hat trick if not for a shot ringing off the cross bar in the first Period.

Along with Rebelato, Defenseman Austin Shmoorkoff had a multi Point game with two Assists, and the Crusaders had two other Goal scorers in the first 60 minutes along with Joel and Rebelato.  Defenseman Cam Reagan and Brendan Stafford scored their second and third Goals respectively on the year.

The Storm were able to hang around and give the Crusaders fits by capitalizing on their chances and ultimately chasing Zac Klassen in the second Period with three Goals on 15 Shots.  Jake Morrissey made 19 Saves on 21 Shots in relief of Klassen.

Ultimately the Crusaders skill took over in Overtime when Alex Rotundo won a faceoff forward in his own zone creating a two on one with Tyler Maltby, who was able to score his league leading 27th Goal of the season, roofing a backhand past Storm Netminder Xavier Burghardt.

The Crusaders will put Wednesday’s game behind them and begin preparations for weekend games down South with Okotoks on Saturday night and a Sunday matinee with the Calgary Mustangs.

-Story By Taylor Medak