From the beginning of the 2014 calendar year the Crusaders have been chasing the Lloydminster Bobcats for 3rd place in the North Division, and with Spruce Grove and Fort McMurray in a league of their own it seems, 3rd place has seemed more lucrative for the remaining 6 teams in the Division.
Friday night the Sherwood Park Crusaders will have that chance to reach one of the highest places in the standings since September when they battle the Lloydminster Bobcats at the Sherwood Park Arena.
The 2 teams could have been tied in the standings going into tonight’s action had Sherwood Park achieved a more desirable result Wednesday on the road against Spruce Grove.
“Our intensity, attention to small details and our Special Teams cost us.” Said Crusaders GM and Head Coach Tim Fragle on his team’s 7-2 loss to the Saints.
Andrew Taverner and Nicholas Jones scored for the Crusader in the loss. Sherwood Park was 0 for 3 on the Power Play while Spruce Grove executed at 50% going 4 for 8.
The loss might be even tougher due to the fact that the Crusaders had played the Saints well all season long and once again the group was unable to bring the consistency the coaching staff has preached all season long.
“It starts with the players mind set and if they aren’t prepared to play a team game we will not get consistency thus the up and down results.” Fragle said.
The Crusaders will have to move on and not dwell on the Wednesday loss as once again they have to try and rebound in what will surely be a playoff like game Friday night against the Bobcats.
“All remaining games have implications right now and we need to play like it.” Fragle added.
The Crusaders lead the season series against the Bobcats with 3 wins and 2 losses and 2 wins have come at the Sherwood Park Arena. The Crusaders will try and use home ice advantage to clinch the season series as they are undefeated on home ice in January (5-0).
After Friday night’s game the Crusaders will get a day to rest before taking on the Calgary Mustangs Sunday afternoon. It will mark the final time Sherwood Park will play the South Division this season.
The last time the Crusaders played the Mustangs was on October 15th in Calgary when Nicholas Jones netted 4 goals in a 5-2 win at the Father David Bauer arena.
Fragle expects a much different Mustangs team.
“They are improved and have been a tough physical team to play against. We need to be prepared for a tough battle on Sunday. If you make mistakes they are very opportunistic and will make you pay. They have a physical dimension that will challenge our group, we need to be ready.”
It is Flashback Friday at the Sherwood Park Arena as ticket prices are $5 for the game against the Lloydminster Bobcats, puck drop is 7:00 PM. Sunday afternoon’s game will be at 2:15 versus the Calgary Mustangs and will be the last Sunday afternoon game of the season. For tickets or more information call the Crusaders Box Office at 780-417-1175.