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Savoie & Benning start NCAA careers with a bang; and Kunyk shines over in Europe

NCAA

Carter Savoie has been one of the hot topics in the NCAA this past week. The former Crusaders forward has been fantastic to start his NCAA career with four goals in three games for the University of Denver Pioneers. He currently sits 11th in the NCAA goalscoring race and is tied for the fewest games played in the top 20. Savoie also has one assist to take his tally to five points in three games. His teammate, Michael Benning, has also had a fantastic start to the season. The Florida Panthers prospect has five assists in as many games. Benning and Savoie are currently tied for first in Pioneers scoring. The final Crusader at the University of Denver is Reid Irwin, but he didn?t play in the teams opening three games.

Also playing in the NCHC bubble in Omaha is Jarred White with the Western Michigan University Broncos. White is yet to score his first NCAA point; however, he?s featured in all three of the Broncos games and been a physical presence for them on the ice. White is joined by Brett Van Os who played 114 games for the Crusaders from 2015 to 2017. Van Os opened up his goalscoring account in the teams opening game 4-3 loss to St Cloud State University.

The final player in the Omaha is Tanner Laderoute with the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. Laderoute played in Sherwood Park from 2014 to 2016 before being moved to Okotoks midseason. He has been involved in the all three of the Bulldogs wins but has yet to score a point.

Over in the Atlantic Hockey conference, five Crusaders alumni dressed in games to begin the season.

We?ll start in Long Island with Jacob Franczak and the Sharks. They didn?t play over the weekend; however, they had some success the weekend before in their inaugural games. Franczak took historic first face-off for Long Island as they went on to win their first game 3-2 in overtime versus the College of Holy Cross Crusaders. He also played the following night against the Crusaders but was again held pointless in a 5-2 loss.

Garrett Clegg has now entered his sophomore season with the Robert Morris University Colonials. He dressed in their opening game against the University of Alabama-Huntsville and registered one shot on goal. Clegg finished his freshman year with the Colonials with two goals and five points in 27 games.

Three Crusaders alumni went at it in the state of the New York when RIT Tigers and Niagara University Purple Eagles went head to head. Ryan Cox dressed for the Purple Eagles as their third-line centre and managed to fire five shots on goal over the two games. On the other side, Merritt Oszytko and Cody Laskosky both played for the Tigers. Oszytko didn?t register a point but did have a shot on goal. While Laskosky only played in one game and was also held pointless. However, in his first game for the Tigers, the former Crusader scored a goal and an assist against Clarkson University.

The final Crusader to dress in a game this season is goaltender Carter Gylander. Gylander came in relief for the Colgate University on November 22nd versus Clarkson University. The Beaumont native stopped five of the six shots he faced in 29 minutes of action.

Also in the NCAA are Ty Readman (Northern Michigan), Zach Kaiser (UMass-Lowell) and Will Zapernick (University of Vermont). Their seasons have not begun yet.

Europe

Over in Europe, there are currently four Crusaders alumni playing in three different countries.

Cody Kunyk has gotten off to a great start in his first season with Karpat in the Liiga (Finland). In 16 games, the former Crusaders forward has scored six goals and 15 points which leads the team. Kunyk is now in his 7th year of professional hockey after spending four years at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

Braden Christoffer is another forward now calling Europe home. He?s now in his first season with HC Innsbruck in the Austrian league. In his first 15 games, the Sherwood Park native has 8 points in 23 games along with 70 penalty minutes.

The final two players are both playing in France. Danny Smith and Arthur Gordan of the 2013 Sherwood Park Crusaders. Smith is currently with Cholet where he has one goal in two games, and Gordan is with Montpellier and has played a single game.