Drayton Valley, AB: The Sherwood Park Crusaders headed up to Drayton Valley on Friday night for a date with the Thunder. Despite owning two of the best exhibition records, both teams entered this one looking for their first win of the season. Carson Cherepak got his second start of the season for the Crusaders, while Drayton Valley countered with Eric Ward.
The first period started the way Sherwood Park wanted, as Dylan Guenther capitalized on a man advantage to give the Crusaders a 1-0 lead just seven minutes into the game. Drayton Valley equalized a little over seven minutes later, as Kadyn Chabot beat Cherepak to tie the game after one period. Sherwood Park held a 10-8 shot advantage through 20 minutes.
Drayton Valley took control in the middle frame, outshooting Sherwood Park 15-9 in the period. They used this to take a 3-1 lead before the period was half over. Goals by Dylan Price and Dexton Mozell spelt the end of the night for Cherepak, who was pulled in favour of Jordan Frey after allowing 3 goals on 16 shots. The Thunder carried this lead into the third period, looking to end a two-game losing streak.
Despite severely outshooting the Thunder in the third period, Sherwood Park couldn’t get themselves back into the game. A costly penalty taken early in the period led to a Mason Marcellus powerplay goal to give the Thunder a 4-1 lead. The Crusaders got a powerplay a little while later, but the puck went in the wrong net. Brett Bamber scored a short-handed goal to essentially put the game away for Drayton Valley. Kadyn Chabot would add his second of the game with eight and a half minutes left, and that was all she wrote, as the Drayton Valley Thunder defeated the Sherwood Park Crusaders 6-1, to win their first game of the season.
Sherwood Park moves to 0-2-1 and will look to bounce back in Sherwood Park on Saturday Night. Carson Cherepak and Jordan Frey combined to make 25 saves on 31 shots, with Cherepak taking the loss. Eric Ward made 37 saves on 38 shots for his first win of the season.
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