The opening month of the season could not have gone any better for the Sherwood Park Crusaders.
The Cru went a perfect seven for seven with big wins coming against the Whitecourt Wolverines, Drumheller Dragons, and Okotoks Oilers. However, it was the Lloydminster Bobcats who were the first victims to the Crusaders offensive onslaught.
On September 13th, Sherwood Park hosted Lloydminster in front of a big crowd at the Sherwood Park Arena for their season opener. Seven new faces were in the lineup for the Crusaders including Jarred White who would go on to set new career-highs across the board.
Brett Wieschorster opened the scoring for the Cru but they did find themselves down 3-2 to start the second period. However, six-goals in the final 40 minutes ensured that the Crusaders came away with their first two points of the year with a 7-5 victory. Nick Magis netted his first career AJHL goal while Will Zapernick (x2), Connor Hart, Jarred White and Carter Savoie also got their names on the scoresheet.
The next night, Sherwood Park travelled east to the border city to finish off their home and home series versus the Bobcats. Whatever momentum Lloydminster had from the night before was quickly cancelled out as Kaden Bryant scored his first junior goal 11 seconds into the game. He?d soon net a second in the same period; then Ty Mueller got in on the action with a superb individual effort for his first as a Crusader. Early in the third, Bryce Bader found the back of the net for his first as the Cru came out 6-0 winners. Between the pipes, Jordan Frey got the nod and did his job perfectly stopping all 15 shots for his first win and shutout of the season.
The Cru stayed on the road for one more game against the Drayton Valley Thunder who they beat 2-1 with Zapernick and Atwal getting the goal. They then returned home for a pair of games against the Whitecourt Wolverines and Fort McMurray Oil Barons who they would beat 7-4 and then 4-1.
They closed out the month at the annual AJHL Showcase in Camrose against the Drumheller Dragons and Okotoks Oilers.
A phenomenal passing sequence from Arjun Atwal, Carter Savoie and Will Zapernick got the Crusaders out to the early lead over the Dragons with Zapernick?s sixth of the early season. Drumheller fought back to give themselves a 2-1, but Sherwood Park showed great relicense. Jarred White and Savoie restored the Crusaders lead to making it 3-2 heading into the first intermission. They would continue their offensive surge scoring three more goals and conceding just once to beat the Dragons 6-3.
The Crusaders closed out September against the Okotoks Oilers in what was perhaps their most entertaining game of the month. The Crusaders undefeated streak was in jeopardy as they found themselves down 5-4 midway through the third period. However, two late powerplay goals from Jarred White and Carter Savoie restored their team?s lead and gave them a 6-5 to make them a perfect 7-0-0 to start the season.