Brandon Vogel came out of nowhere during the Crusaders playoff run.
After the departure of both Zac Klassen and Jake Morrissey, the Crusaders were forced to call upon Fort Saskatchewan Midget AAA netminder Brandon Vogel. Vogel had extremely little AJHL experience after only playing in six regular season games. Over those six games, the 18-year old was allowing a 4.23 goals against average along with a .891 save percentage. The odds were against Vogel and the Crusaders, however, Vogel did not allow the critics to get in his head.
The Crusaders were facing the Bonnyville Pontiacs in the first round, as per usual. The Cru were underdogs from the start and not really given any chance to win by the critics, however Vogel had different plans. That game Vogel may have had the best game of his career. The rookie netminder made 44 saves whilst only allowing one goal midway through the third, helping the Crusaders steal game one.
The following night, Vogel stood on his head again for the Crusaders finishing up with another 40 save game. Unfortunately, the Crusaders could not find their offence to help out their rookie netminder and ended up losing 2-1 in overtime.
With the performances Vogel made in Bonnyville, Sherwood Park should have been going home with a 2-0 lead.
Once game three came around, Vogel was high on confidence and had the belief of all his teammates. Game three did see more offence from both teams with 12 goals being scored in total. People watching the game, however, they knew that the seven goals were through no fault of Vogel’s but just some great hockey from the Pontiacs. For the third game straight, Vogel did everything he could to give his team the series lead having himself another 40-save game.
During game four, the Pontiacs seemed to have figured out how to get the puck past Vogel scoring five goals. As you probably guessed, just like games one, two, and three Vogel made over 40 saves.
The performances Vogel gave the Crusaders during the playoffs were outstanding, making 167 saves across four games is incredible. If the Crusaders could have found their offensive touch they could have gone much deeper into the playoffs.
Hopefully the 2018 season will see the Cru score more goals and give Vogel some much needed goal support.