It was another statement win for the Cru as they kept the pressure up out of the gate in a 5-1 win against the Whitecourt Wolverines on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
With three goals in the first, the Cru (27-22-7) kept just the right amount of pressure on the Wolverines (28-20-8) for the rest of the way. Although they were out shot 42-25, their stalwart net minder Matt Tomkins stopped 41 to get the first star of the game and another win in this pocket, putting the Crusaders starter at 21-13-6.
Head coach Tim Fragle credited the win to a focused attack off the whistle as well as Tomkins’ stellar tending.
“We got off to a quick start, that made the difference for us,” Fragle said. “We have two hot players in Ryan Luiten and Marshall Donald. They played well.”
Luiten and Marshall had two points a piece, as well as Garth Wallin who collected a goal and an assist. According to Fragle, Wallin, the Cru’s leading scorer, is missing the chemistry of injured winger Andrew Taverner.
“Those two had a real connection going, but with Taverner being hurt the last few games, Wallin has been trying to find different ways to score.”
Up next for the Cru is an away game against the AJHL North Division leading Spruce Grove Saints (33-15-9)on Friday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. Fragle sees this as a great way for the Cru to try to prove themselves going into the final four games of the regular season.
“Spruce Grove is always a good test for us,” he said. “They always have a solid team over there that tend to play us hard.”
The Cru’s next home game is on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 2:15 p.m. against the Grande Prarie Storm (32-20-4). The Storm sit second in the North while the Cru are in seventh, but only seven points behind them in the standings. The last four games of the season could see the Cru make a jump if they can pull out some wins.
Want a ride in a fighter jet?
The Sherwood Park Crusaders are holding their annual Live and Silent Auction and Dinner featuring Danny Hooper on Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Edmonton Hotel and Convention Centre, 4520-76 Ave. in Edmonton, at 6 p.m.
Tickets are $100 and are available at every Crusader home game.
Live auction items include:
• A fighter jet ride
• A Los Angeles shopping trip
• A Masters themed golf package including practice round at Augusta
• An Indy Car driving experience
• City helicopter tour
“I don’t know how we got that,” Fragle laughed when asked about the fighter jet ride.