The Crusaders certainly have discovered their Achilles heel early on in the 2016-17 Regular Season, and it’s playing the Spruce Grove Saints on home ice.
For the second straight game versus the Saints at the Sherwood Park Arena, Spruce Grove came out victorious.
The 3-1 score a little better aesthetically compared to 6-0 on opening night but the Crusaders struggled to generate much of a fight.
The game started out with a good pace and shifts from all four lines of the Crusaders provided optimism that Sherwood Park would be able to overcome the difficulties they had on opening night and rekindle what they had in their first victory of the year which was over the very same Saints.
However, familiar foes would add to their dominance against the Crusaders so far in 2016-17.
Saints Forward Josh Harris would score the game’s first two Goals in the second half of the first period just over two minutes apart adding to his goal total of four on the season. All of Harris’ Goals this season have come against the Crusaders, him and Forward
Nicolas Correale have a combined eight Points against Sherwood Park this year after Correale added an Assists on Harris’ second Goal.
A tilted ice surface in favor of the Saints in the second Period saw no goals and one Power Play for both teams. Crusaders Netminder Zac Klassen was busy stopping all 15 shots he saw as a part of a 36 Save outing Wednesday night.
Spruce Grove would put the game to bed with a Power Play Goal early in the third when Saints Captain Dexter McLeod put one past Klassen from the blue line as Spruce Grove would go one for four on the Man Advantage in Wednesday’s game.
Sherwood Park would avoid being shutout for the second straight game by Rookie Nolan Kent at the Sherwood Park Arena as Forward Tanner Younghans forced a blocker shot side shot past the Saint Goaltender.
The marker was Younghans’ fifth of the season, tying Tyler Maltby for the team lead with five.
Sherwood Park once again came up short against the Saints at home only mustering a total of 14 shots in the game and only seven in the last two Periods.
Maybe the saving grace for Sherwood Park is that they are 2-0 this season on the second half of back to back games and will look to make it 3-0 when they take on the Okotoks Oilers Thursday night at the AJHL Showcase in Camrose.
-Story Taylor Medak