SPRUCE GROVE, AB – The Sherwood Park Crusaders were unable to win their season high sixth game in a row on Friday night as they dropped the first game of a home and home, 7-4 to the Spruce Grove Saints on the road.
The game was highlighted with Saints Forward Chris Van Os-Shaw scoring his 50th goal of the season just over a minute into the hockey game.
The last AJHL player to score 50 goals in a single season was Mark Letestu of the Bonnyville Pontiacs in 2006. Coincidently, it was against the Crusaders.
The Saints added to Van Os-Shaw’s early goal and looked to take a commanding 3-0 into the first intermission after Austin Parmiter and Logan Ganie added to the Saints lead.
However, Crusaders Forward Arjun Atwal would capitalize on a miscue by the Saints in their own zone and give the Crusaders life by scoring with 51 seconds remaining in the first period.
Sherwood Park did not back down as they pushed hard in the second period and made the game 3-2 after Forward Ryan Cox would score his 39th goal of the season on the power play.
The Crusaders continued to press and just over a minute later would tie things up at 3-3 thanks to rookie Forward Garrett Clegg.
Unfortunately Spruce Grove was equal at responding when they needed to and would regain the lead 43 seconds after the Clegg goal.
With the Saints up 4-3 after forty minutes, there was hope the Crusaders might be able to keep pace and earn at least a point on the road.
Spruce Grove had other plans and would score three more in the third starting with Chase Olsen scoring the eventual game winner at 1:16 on the power play, while Parker Saretsky and Van Os-Shaw with his second would round out the scoring for Spruce Grove.
Perhaps the one bright spot was the Crusaders power play as they went two for two as Garrett Clegg would score his second of the game and bring his yearly total to 19 late in the third period.
Both teams will wrap up the regular season Saturday night in Sherwood Park.