Rivalry Weekend for Crusaders

It's a double dip of rivals in the final full weekend of January for the Sherwood Park Crusaders.  The Cru entertain their cross Capital Region rivals, the Spruce Grove Saints, Friday night at the Sherwood Park arena.  While Saturday night, a date with the Bonnyville Pontiacs at the Sobey's Arena in Leduc, Alberta.

Sherwood Park is coming off a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Lloydminster Bobcats to end a 3 game road trip that saw the Crugo 1-1-1 picking up 3 points.

“[I'm] disappointed we lost on Tuesday as it was a good opportunity to get 5 out of 6 points.” Head Coach Tim Fragle said as his team miss several chances in prime scoring areas in Tuesday's game.

In order to rebound, the Cru will need big efforts up and down the line up.  Two players that seem to consistantly putting out in the effort department, Defenseman Josh Healey and Forward Andrew Taverner.

Since commiting to Ohio State Healey has chipped in with one assist and consisten physical play in the defensive zone.

“That is what Josh does. It is however a weight of his shoulders on finally committing after have alot of interest.” Said Fragle of his sought after Defenseman.

Andrew Taverner, a Quinnipiac recruit, now leads the Crusaders in goals with 16 and has scored 5 in his last 6 games.

“[He's] capitalizing on his chances now. He has always been getting opportunities and lately he has been cashing in.”  Fragle said of Taverner.

As for Friday's game versus the Saints, Spruce Grove leads the season series 3-0 but all games have been tight, and Fragle expects nothing less from Saints Head Coach Jason Mckee and his squad.

“All 3 games have been tight and I don’t expect it to be any different. [Jason's] team plays great team defense.” Fragle spoke of the Saints.

“We have to have a better forecheck and create chances  from that as well as manage the puck better off the rush.”  Fragle added in order for the Cru to have success.

After Friday night, the focus will shift to another rival, the Bonnyville Pontiacs.

The Crusaders will host the Pontiacs at the Sobey's Arena in Leduc, Alberta Saturday night.

Tim Fragle was asked on his thoughts about one of the leagues best rivalry being showcased in Leduc.

“[We're] treating it as another game but looking forward to what we hear is suppose to be a good crowd.”

Heading into the weekend's action, Sherwood Park sits in 7th place in the North Division, trailing Fort McMurray for 6th by 4 points.  Spruce Grove is ranked 12th in the entire Canadian Junior Hockey League and is in 1st place in the North with 62 points.  Sherwood Park is  8 points back of 4th in the North which is the bare minimum spot needed for home ice advantage during the 1st round of the playoffs.  Safe to say, Tim Fragle and his squad will accept nothing less than 2 wins over the weekend.

“We want 4pts. We need it!”

For tickets or more information regarding Friday's and Saturday's games call the Crusader office at 780-417-1175.