It was a case of Showdown stage fright.
The revamped Sherwood Park Crusaders, who had to replace 12 departed players from last year’s lineup, have been the talk of the Alberta Junior Hockey League to start the season, winning six in a row after an opening game loss.
It was the ideal way for the young team to enter last weekend’s AJHL Showcase series in Spruce Grove, a chance for every team in the league to gather in one building in front of a horde of college scouts.
The way they played in their two games was, however, less than ideal.
The Crusaders won their first contest 4-3 over the Calgary Canucks for their seventh consecutive victory on Thursday, but didn’t exactly leave head coach and G.M. Tim Fragle wringing his hand in glee with their overall effort.
“We weren’t very good to be honest,” he said. “For 40 minutes we didn’t play well. We gave up a power play goal on a five-on-three to trail 3-2 in the third period and it was like a lightswitch went on and we decided we wanted to play the game and played hard from there.”
The Crusaders actually had a 2-1 lead after the second period on goals by captain Dillon Massie and Daniel Wray before falling behind in the third.
Massie tied the game up with his second of the game with five minutes left before Nicholas Jones scored the game winner at the 18:51 mark of the third.
The Cru went on to face the Drumheller Dragons on Saturday night and saw their streak snapped.
Full Story from Shane Jones of the Sherwood Park News