The crusade has its leader back once more.
Well, two now.
Early in the season, during a mid-September matchup, Sherwood Park Crusader captain and forward Eric Liknes was pulled off the ice with internal injuries.
At the time, it was said that Liknes would be out until mid-December, requiring three months from recovery.
However, resiliency has reigned, and Liknes is back at the helm of the Crusaders.
“He’s back a little bit earlier than expected,” Crusader head coach and general manager Tim Fragle said. “He went through a couple of different doctors, and the surgeon that actually recommended he sit out for an extended period of time gave him the approval after a couple of positive scans that went well. It’s good.”
He continued, saying Liknes coming back to the lineup is big for the Cru at this point in the season: “He’s a big centreman who has some experience in our league, so it’s definitely a big lift. Also, in the dressing room, it’s good to have him back. He’s a good fit in our room, obviously, and from a coaching perspective, he’s a guy you can lean on too. We’re excited to have himback.”
In Liknes’ absence, third-year forward Blair Mulder took over the captaincy — a position the coaching staff didn’t want to pull from the veteran Crusader.
With the return of Liknes, the captaincy will now be split. Mulder will continue to be the captain in home games, while Liknes will take the title for road matches.
“We just felt with the current situation, with Mulder being captain when he was out and with Eric being captain before his injury, those were already two guys that we thought would be in the running as it is,” Fragle said. “They’re good friends and both are willing to share that responsibility, which, for me, is a good fit. I think it’s excellent that we can spread around the leadership.”