As the Crusaders begin play into the 2nd round of the AJHL Playoffs, we know one thing is certain. Captain Dillon Massie’s time with the Sherwood Park Crusaders and in the Alberta Junior Hockey League is nearing an end. Massie finished the Regular Season portion of his career with 206 Games Played. All with the Crusaders.
“It s a good accomplishment playing 200 games, I'm very proud of it and it's been an amazing experience.” Massie said.
The Crusader enjoyed his best season offensively in 2013-14 scoring a career high 15 goals and 33 points. He will finish with 48 Goals 68 Assists 116 Points and 139 PIM’s. The Sherwood Park native credits many for aiding him in having a long career.
“There have been lots of people that have helped throughout my AJHL career including Coach Tim Fragle and the Crusaders coaching staff. My family has been very supportive throughout my hockey career without them I wouldn't be where I am today.” Noted the Crusader Captain.
In 4 years in the league Dillon has been able to play with many great players and friends that he grew up with, coming into the league at young age however, Massie needed some guidance breaking into the AJHL.
“Every year I played with the Crusaders we had very close teams, my first year Adam Burns helped me through the season and he was definitely a guy that I looked up to. I always have some good memories with the guys I came into the league with like Danny Smith, Garth Wallin, Stephen Bazar, Blair Mulder, JC Heck and Erik Likness. Then growing up I was good friends with Bowen Croft and Braden Christoffer and Matt Tomkins, so it was very special to be able to play with those guys.” Massie says on who he’s enjoyed playing with.
Not only in 4 years you would be playing with many great players but hopefully have great memories as well and with one yet to be determined in this year’s Playoffs, one of the 20 year old’s best memories comes in his 2nd year with the Crusaders.
“Our Playoff run in 2012 when we beat Bonnyville in 5 games, it had to be one of the best series I’ve ever been apart of.” Said Massie on the 2012 Post Season.
That year the Crusaders fell to the Fort McMurray Oil Barons in the 2nd Round in 5 Games.
Once again in 2014 the Crusaders find themselves in the 2nd Round against their cross town rival the Spruce Grove Saints. Massie has yet to move past the 2nd Round in the AJHL Playoffs, while it’s been 11 years since the Crusaders have played in the 3rd Round. With Massie’s best memory hopefully yet to come, the Captain and his team have the Playoff experience to move forward.
“For us to have a long post season we are going to have to come together as a team and play with a lot of heart. We have a tone of skill on this team and if we keep our game simple and stick to the game plan we are going to have a good chance at going a long way.” Said Massie.
So far it is working as the Crusaders swept the Bonnyville Pontiacs in 3 games in the 1st Round, time will tell to see what may come in Round 2 versus the Saints.
As for his post AJHL career, Massie is still undecided on where he will be hockey wise and academically. The Forward is entertaining many options in and outside the Capital Region. Many of his former teammates that Massie spoke fondly of have began nice little careers in the Alberta Collegiate Athletic Conference with different institutions such as NAIT, MacEwan University and Red Deer College.
Wherever Dillon goes, he will truly represent himself in the highest fashion, just as he has done as a Sherwood Park Crusader.