The Sherwood Park Crusaders are looking for their first win of the season against the Whitecourt Wolverines Sunday afternoon at the Sherwood Park Arena. The Wolverines have outscored the Crusaders 13 to 5 in their first 2 games against the Cru.
A bulk of those Whitecourt goals have come on the Power Play.
“The 2 previous games, they’ve won the special teams battle, thus leading to two losses.” Crusader Head Coach Tim Fragle said.
The Crusaders will need to be on their “A” game when it comes to special teams. The Cru lost 5-2 to Camrose Friday night on the road. In that loss to the Kodiaks, the Cru allowed 4 goals in the 3rd period. All coming on the Power Play. They had a 2-1 lead heading into the 3rd period.
“[For] 48 and a half minutes we completely controlled the game, [but] a poor PK in the 3rd and [we] mentally beat ourselves.” Fragle said regarding Friday’s loss.
Fragle believes if the team can play Whitecourt 5 on 5 as much as possible, it should fair in the Crusaders way.
“Putting pressure on their defense, running good routes, being physical and playing smart as well, we can expose them even strength.”
Unlike the Wolverines, the Crusaders were idle on the CJHL trade deadline day.
“Asking prices were too high but also many teams were not willing to move players that would have been upgrades.” Fragle added.
Only a handful of teams were active on the 23 man roster cut down, a sign that it is even more tight in the AJHL North, with a 26 point gap between 1st and 8th compared to a 45 point gap in the South.
Sherwood Park will enter Sunday afternoon’s game with 19 wins 17 losses and 5 Overtime Losses, totaling 43 points for 7th place in the North.