LLOYDMINSTER, AB – The Sherwood Park Crusaders matched a season high winning streak with their fifth win in a row as they defeated the Lloydminster Bobcats by a score of 3-0 on Wednesday night in the Border City.
Affiliate Goaltender Ben Rishaug picked up his third win as a Crusader and first AJHL shutout. The Sherwood Park native becomes the second Crusader Goaltender since 2005-2006 to get their first career shutout in only their second start. Jase Weslosky earned his first AJHL shutout in his second start of his career on October 7th, 2005.
Sherwood Park opened the scoring half way through the first period as Dylan Stewart redirected a Payton McIsaac point shot past Bobcats netminder Bailey Brkin.
The Crusaders would add to their lead early in the second period as Tyson Gruninger scored for the third straight game after receiving a pass from the left wing side from Ty Readman as the Crusaders executed a perfect three on two attack.
The middle frame was the busiest for Rishaug as he turned away all 12 Bobcat shots he faced.
Sherwood Park would put the nail in the coffin late in the third period as Forward Ryan Cox scored his 38th of the season on the power play as Dylan Stewart would force a turnover just inside the Lloydminster zone and find a wide open Cox in front of the Bobcat goal.
The Crusaders would finish the night one for four on the power play and outshoot the Bobcats 37-30.
With the win, Sherwood Park moves their record to 27-29-2 and sits a point behind the Grande Prairie Storm for fourth place in the Viterra North Division.
The Storm lost an opportunity to distance themselves from the Crusaders on Wednesday night as they fell 6-2 to the Spruce Grove Saints.
Sherwood Park will need some help from their Wednesday opponent, as will Grande Prairie. As the final weekend will determine where the first round playoff series between the Crusaders and Storm will start. Both the Crusaders and Storm finish off the regular season with a pair of games against the Saints and Bobcats.
The Crusaders will face the Saints in a home and home starting Friday, and Saturday in Sherwood Park to finish off the regular season, while the Storm host the Bobcats for a pair of games this weekend.
BOXSCORE: Crusaders 3 Bobcats 0