The formula might be simple for the Sherwood Park Crusaders in Game 4 against the Spruce Grove Saints.
Stay out of the Penalty Box.!
It is easier said than done, but discipline will be key if the Crusaders are to be the first home team to win a game in this Best of 7 North Division Semi Final. All of Spruce Grove’s goals in this series have been on the Power Play. A staggering 40% conversion rate has the Saints as the number 1 team on the Power Play this Post Season. The Crusaders are no slouch either having the 2nd ranked Power Play these Playoffs. But once again, for the Crusaders to have success and to have Power Plays they in turn need to stay out of the box.
One player they will have to watch out for, if they are forced to kill of a Penalty, is Carson Samordiny. The former Western Leaguer has 2 goals in this series, both when playing the point on the Power Play. The Saints have been trying to get the puck to him for one timer opportunities.
Good sticks and getting in shooting lanes will be key for the Crusaders.
Heading into Game 4, the Crusaders will look to try and generate offense as they only mustered 20 shots against Saints Goaltender Tanner McCorriston. The most shots the Crusaders had in one period of Game 3 was 8, Spruce Grove had 22 in the 1st Period.
Safe to say, the Crusaders did not test McCorriston enough, who held his in own in his first career Playoff start, in place of the injured Kenny Cameron. The Crusaders were effective when entering the offensive zone off the rush and moving the puck quickly. Odd man rushes against the Saints are a rarity but when the Crusaders get them they will need to capitalize. Andrew Taverner, Nicholas Jones and Sean MacTavish lead the Crusaders in scoring this Post Season with 6 points, those 3 were held pointless in Game 3.
It is not known if Defenseman Brandon Hickey or Goaltender Kenny Cameron will return to action in Game 4, as both are still listed as injured on the AJHL’s website. Cameron has his number 1 discarded next to his name. Edmonton’s Nikolai Farrus was the Backup for McCorriston in Game 3.
The Crusaders also had a different Backup Goaltender in Game 3, with Zac Klassen battling the flu, Josh Mudryk filled the void for the Crusaders.
Tickets for Game 4 are available by calling 780-417-1175 or come down to the Sherwood Park Arena early and prior to the 7:00 PM puck drop to ensure a good seat at the game, as just under 1200 fans packed the Sherwood Park Arena for Game 3.
Game 5 in Spruce Grove will be played Friday March 21st at 7:00 PM, if necessary Game 6 will be back in Sherwood Park on Sunday March 23rd.