The Sherwood Park Crusaders were in need of a response versus the Drayton Valley Thunder Wednesday night after losing 8-2 in their last game against the Whitecourt Wolverines. That response was brought forth by second year Forward, Andrew Taverner.
“Well I was really excited to have such a productive night. My line has been really working well the past couple games, so it’s nice to see it worked out.”
Taverner who opened and ended the scoring in the second period after a scoreless first, combined for four points with line mates Dillon Massie and Arthur Gordon, in the 5-1 victory Wednesday night.
The scoreless first period between the Crusaders and the Thunder seemed like two fighters feeling each other out in an opening round of a boxing match. However, Taverner felt his squad may have been trying to do to much in the opening frame.
“It seemed like we were trying to make complex plays and got away from playing the body. In the second we started to play the body and [played] simple, the ice seemed almost slanted our way.”
The playing of the body led to Taverner’s first goal of the game, when Arthur Gordon hard on the forecheck, forced a turnover with the puck landing right on Taverner’s stick. Number 39 made no mistakes riffling the puck past Thunder goaltender Marc-Olivier Daigle.
It may have seemed the ice was slanted to Daigle as the Cru sprung for 3 more goals in the second period including 2, from Danny Smith and Nick Jones, in a span of less than 6 minutes. Taverner wrapped up the scoring in the second when Arthur Gordon was able to keep the puck in the Thunder zone, back handing it off the boards to Taverner who put it five hole past Daigle. The final 3 goals in the period were all low shots that squeaked through Daigle’s pads and across the goal line.
Ben Carroll capped off the scoring for the Cru with a point shot for his second of the year.
The Crusaders have two more games at home before heading down south next week, the Cru welcome Olds and the Calgary Canucks this Saturday and Sunday.
“In our next home games we need to make sure to play as a team and keep it simple. When we do [that], it’s our game to lose.” Taverner added.
Part of the success on Wednesday night was also discipline. Coming off a game where they had allowed 5 power play goals, the Cru didn’t have a penalty kill until mid way through the third. Even though Drayton Valley’s lone goal came on that man advantage. The Crusaders were much more discipline in Wednesday’s game compared to last Friday.