The Crusaders rolled through the month of October & Tyler Yaremchuk recaps it all and talks to defenseman Mat Shatsky on this weeks episode of #InsideTheCru
The high flying Sherwood Park Crusaders host the Grande Prairie Storm in a matinee matchup at Sherwood Park Arena Sunday. Grande Prairie has struggled this season and comes into today’s matchup with a record of 6-10-1. Meanwhile, the Crusaders remain at the top of the AJHL North at 16-1-0, only the Brooks Bandits in the AJHL South are having a better season, they remain undefeated at 17-0-0.
Vincent Scott and Kaden Bryant will draw into the line up for the Cru.
After taking Friday night off, Jordan Frey returns between the pipes for Sherwood Park. Frey has been good this year, with a 2.06 GAA and a save percentage of 0.912 and a record of 5-1-0.
At the other end of the ice, Grande Prairie counters with Kaeden Lane, he posts a record of 4-5-1 with a 3.35 GAA, and a save percentage of 0.880.
Sherwood Park continues to dominate the AJHL North, coming into tonight’s game with a 15-1-0 record, winners of seven straight games. The Whitecourt Wolverines meanwhile sits in the middle of the pack, with a record of 7-6-2. These two teams met on Tuesday in Whitecourt, with the Cru coming out on top with a strong 5-1 victory.
Sherwood Park’s top line of Carter Savoie, Arjun Atwal, and William Zapernick continue to lead the league in scoring. Sherwood Park is winning games with some deep scoring though, in the past three games, 13 of the 14 Crusaders forwards have registered at least one point. Special teams remain deadly for the Cru; the powerplay leads the league at 28.21%, the penalty kill is suffocating opponents at 88.73%.
Carter Gylander gets the start for Sherwood Park and comes into tonight’s game with a 10-0 record 2.38 GAA, and a 0.913 save percentage. Whitecourt counters with Vincent Duplessis.
A tight start to the game with both teams landing some solid hits. Whitecourt spent more time in Sherwood Park’s end than vice versa, no solid chances from the Wolverines though. No one even registered a shot until around the 14:00 minute mark.
The Cru was the first to go on the man-advantage, after a 2-minute minor for high sticking. Some great passes and a few solid shots, but no one found the back of the net.
Sherwood Park limited Whitecourt’s chances and stayed out of the box (something they have struggled with at times this season), but a team with this amount of firepower should at least be getting more solid chances. Sherwood Park finishes the frame with 11 shots to Whitecourt’s 4, not a bunch of great opportunities for the Cru outside of the powerplay.
The Wolverines came out with speed in the middle frame, some great entries into the offensive zone, but no shots on goal thanks to the Cru’s stingy defenders and tight back-checking.
Sherwood Park was putting on the pressure with more great puck cycling and a couple of decent shots. It looked like the Wolverines got one past Carter Gylander, but the goal was waved off.
Seconds later, the Crusaders went on the powerplay for a second time after a hit in the corner by Whitecourt’s Adam Sandstrom on Jarred White. Sandstrom was given two minutes and 10-minute misconduct for a blow to the head.
A couple of nice looks on the powerplay for Sherwood Park, but they couldn’t capitalize.
Sherwood Park opened the scoring around the ten-minute mark, Davis Murray scored his first of the season on a juicy rebound from Brett Wieschorster, Reid Irwin had a helper on the play as well.
The Cru continued to pepper Wolverine’s netminder Vincent Duplessis, but the Quebec City product made some outstanding saves to keep his side in it.
The Wolverine’s weren’t getting many pucks to the net, but their second line evened the game at 1-1 just before the three-minute mark, Eric Perneel scored, with assists from Cole Carrier, and Nolan Doell.
The Crusader’s fourth line quickly answered back to close out the second period; Brett Wieschorster lit the lamp after a long cross-ice pass from Reid Irwin, Blake Sydlowski had an assist on the play as well.
The second period ends 2-1 for Sherwood Park. Whitecourt goaltender Vincent Duplessis is keeping the Wolverines in the game though. The shot clock reads 28-12 for the Cru heading into the final frame.
The Cru wasted no time in building their lead; Ty Mueller made it 3-1 just two minutes into the third period. Assists from Jarred White and Mathew Shatsky.
The Wolverine’s had a little more urgency in their game as the third went on, sending more rubber to the Cru’s net, but Gylander kept the door shut.
Whitecourt’s Hayden Clayton took a tripping penalty, but the Cru’s Carter Savoie took his own two-minute minor to give the teams some time 4-on-4.
Will Zapernick made it 4-1 for the Cru with four-minutes left in the game, Max Wutzke and Arjun Atwal had the helpers on the play. And that was it, the Wolverines didn’t give up with a few solid chances in the final minutes, but Sherwood Park leaves with the W.
Final score 4-1 for Sherwood Park over Whitecourt.
- A much more disciplined game for the Cru, I didn’t see any rough stuff after the whistles and no dumb penalties. They didn’t even take a penalty until the third period. A few powerplays could have made the difference for Whitecourt.
- The team’s passing continues to impress, even strength and on the powerplay. Sherwood Park’s puck movement is on another level.
- A strong night on the back end, it wasn’t until the third period when Whitecourt started to put more pucks on the net, and Carter Gylander was able to stop most of the solid chances.
- Gylander played great, making 25 saves and holding Whitecourt to just one goal.
- An excellent night for Brett Wieschorster, he finishes with a goal and an assist.
- Plenty of shots on net, but not too many quality chances for the Crusaders. Can’t really fault the boys when Whitecourt’s goalie played on his head.
- Ummm, I didn’t get my usual free beer from the bar after the game? Seriously, there’s not a lot of weak spots in the Crusader’s game.
Sherwood Park gets a day off ahead of Sunday’s matchup versus the Grande Prairie Storm. Puck drop is at 2:15, at the Sherwood Park Arena.
This week on #InsideTheCru Tyler Yaremchuk talks about the team being ranked #2 in the country & chats with the highest-scoring 16-year-old in the AJHL, Ty Mueller!
This week on #InsideTheCru Tyler Yaremchuk goes through the teams three wins on Thanksgiving weekend & talks to Brennan McDonnell about his journey from Florida to Sherwood Park.
Currently on a three-game winning streak, the Crusaders welcomed the Drayton Valley Thunder to the Sherwood Park Arena to complete a Thanksgiving weekend homestand. It has been a wildly successful homestand as well. It got started on Friday with a tight, divisional win over the Fort McMurray Oil Barons and followed it up with a 6-2 victory over the Drumheller Dragons.
There’s really been nothing but positives for the Crusaders through the first 12 games of the season. Their schedule has been rather relaxed considering that the only true elite team they’ve played this year is the Okotoks Oilers but you can only beat who they schedule you to play against and the Crusaders haven’t just been doing enough to get two points, on most nights, they’ve been straight up dominating the opposition.
Here’s how things went down this afternoon:
The Crusaders got off to a flying start this afternoon with a pair of goals within the first three minutes of the game. First, it was the team’s top line of Atwal/Savoie/Zapernick connecting for Zapernick’s ninth goal of the season. Just 20 seconds later they got another one, this time it was Jarred White finding the back of the net.
The first five minutes of this game was straight-up dominated by the home side. The Thunder didn’t manage to get a shot on goal until the 13:30 mark of the opening frame. The Cru would extend their lead one more time with Kaden Bryant jumping on a loose puck in the slot.
After that, the Thunder started to get some momentum back. It started with a powerplay opportunity with about ten minutes to go in the period. They didn’t score but they managed to get some puck possession under their belt and they got on the board shortly after the powerplay expired when Ty Whitford finished off an excellent passing play. The Thunder would get one more back shortly afterwards with rookie Grayson Reid getting his second of the season.
After a dominant start, the Crusaders simply let the Thunder back into this game.
The goal-scoring dried up a little bit in the second period but the one goal that was scored was an absolute beauty. Carter Savoie scooped up a pass from Ty Mueller and managed to fend off a Drayton Valley Thunder defenseman, who was draped all over him, drag the puck past an Eric Ward poke check attempt, and slide a backhander in along the ice.
From there, things started to get pretty heated. These two teams combined for 54 penalty minutes in the period with 42 of them being handed out with just over three minutes remaining after Davis Murray ran over Thunder goalie Eric Ward and sparked a pretty major melee.
Once things cooled down, and the blood got scraped off the ice (literally) play resumed and the Crusaders were able to run out the clock and head back into the room with their two-goal lead in-tact.
After a very eventful middle frame, these two teams delivered a rather boring final period, which is probably exactly what Crusaders Head Coach Adam Manah wanted. They didn’t allow very many if any, high-danger chances for the majority of the period and really just kept the puck away from Carter Gylander as much as possible.
The Cru would add to their lead when Ty Mueller fired home a wrister, his third point of the game. Drayton Valley would capitalize on a powerplay with just over two minutes to go to make it a 5-3 game. Jarred White also threw one more home, his second of the game, in the final minute of the game to make it 6-3 for the Cru. That’s how things would end as the Crusaders win their fourth in a row and improve to 12-1-0 on the season.
- The top-line continues to be productive but today they got a couple of goals from lower in their lineup. If this team is going to push for a title, they’ll need to keep getting contributions from everyone on their roster.
- Carter Savoie continued his strong draft year with a beautiful goal to extend his goal-scoring streak to a league-high ten games. The only game he hasn’t scored in was the team’s second win of the season against Lloydminster.
- Carter Gylander didn’t have to make too many great saves, but he was solid tonight. He’s finding a consistent groove and I feel like these last two games have been his best two-game stretch of the season.
- I often forget that Ty Mueller is just 16-years-old. He plays such a smooth, steady game. You rarely see him make a mistake and I’m sure the Crusaders are hoping that a good offensive performance helps him get a little bit more confident with the puck on his stick. I think he has the potential to be one of the best players in the league within the next 12-18 months.
- The hot start to the game was great to see, but you could tell they took their foot off the gas a little bit after they went up 3-0. They’ve blown out a few teams this year and it felt like they thought this was just going to turn into ‘point-night’.
- The two big momentum-changing moments from a Drayton Valley perspective came after the Crusaders gave them looks on the powerplay. The Crusaders penalty kill has been good and while it didn’t allow a goal today, it did allow the Thunder to gain some steam.
The Crusaders will have the next three days off before heading up to Fort McMurray for a weekend set against the Oil Barons. It’s been a bit of a rough start to the year for the new-look Oil Barons who sit sixth in the North Division with a 4-7-1 record but they did play the Crusaders pretty tightly this past Friday so I’m expecting a pair of close games next weekend at the Casman Centre in Fort Mac.
The Sherwood Park Crusaders welcome the Drumheller Dragons to the Sherwood Park Arena for game two of a three-game homestand this long weekend. Both teams played Friday night, with Sherwood Park in a close(ish) battle with Fort McMurray. The Cru came out on top with a 4-3 win.
Meanwhile, Drumheller lost at home 5-3 to the Okotoks Oilers. The Dragons currently sit third in the South at 6-3-2. Sherwood Park sits atop the North with a 10-1-0 record.
Carter Gylander gets the start for the Cru, giving Jordan Frey a night off. The Detroit Red Wings prospect had a rough start to the season, he’s undefeated at 6-0, however his save percentage wasn’t so hot to start the year, it is improving though.
At the other end of the rink, Cale Elder has the opposite problem. His save percentage has been dropping with every game this season. Friday night he posted a 5.14 GAA and a 0.843 save percentage in the loss to Okotoks.
The Cru came out flying to start the first, they definitely don’t look tired from Friday’s matchup. A lot of crisp passes and smooth zone entries. Sherwood Park played solid in their own end as well, limiting Drumheller’s chances. The Dragons weren’t doing themselves any favours though, with some sloppy play in their own end.
11 minutes in Nicholas Magis opened the scoring for his second goal of the year, with the feed from Tanner Fincaryk.
Drumheller went on the powerplay immediately after that with an interference call on William Zapernick, which turned into a brief 5 on 3 after a tripping call on Michael Benning. Gylander made a couple of great stops to keep Sherwood Park up by one.
The Cru’s second line got on the board to make it 2-0, with Ty Mueller finding the back of the net with two minutes left in the first. Jarred White and Jacob Franczak with the assists.
Just 30 seconds later Carter Savoie made it 3-0 for the Crusaders, William Zapernick and defenseman Reid Irwin with the helpers on that one.
Sherwood Park went on the powerplay to end the opening frame, they’ll start the second with 1:39 left on the man advantage. It looks like it could be a long night for Drumheller, the Crusaders end the first up 3-0.
The Crusaders had one decent chance on the PP, but so did Drumheller. They rang one off the post for a near short hander. But Drumheller took a high sticking penalty to give the good guys 26 seconds of a 5 on 3.
Some awesome puck movement by the Cru, and a handful of shots on net, but Cale Elder made several stunning saves to keep the Dragons in it.
Some shoving after the whistle in front of Sherwood Park’s net put the Crusaders back on the man advantage, but no luck for the Cru.
The Dragons had a brief breakaway, but that was broken up with a trip by Reid Irwin. Drumheller quickly took advantage on the powerplay, with a blast from the point by Eric Martin, with assists from Shane Ott, and Derrick Budz.
Things started to get chippy as the second period started to wind down.
After a trip by William Zapernick, Drumheller made it 3-2 on another point shot on the powerplay, this time from Roc Truman, helpers from Eric Martin, and Kaden Hanas.
Bryce Bader put Drumheller back on the man advantage with a cross-check and Arjun Atwal got 10-minutes after some words with the officials, but the Dragons couldn’t capitalize.
Another scrum in front of the visitors’ net led to misconduct calls for Sherwood Park’s Nicholas Magis and Drumheller’s Kent Anderson. Ty Mueller landed a huge hit at centre ice to cap off a physical second period.
Sherwood Park leads 3-2 heading into the third.
Sherwood Park started the final period on the powerplay after a Drumheller penalty to end the second, and it didn’t take long for them to convert. A little over 30 seconds in, the Cru gave themselves some breathing room with a blast from Carter Savoie, his second goal on the night. Michael Benning and Ty Mueller with the assists. 4-2 Crusaders.
A trip by Drumheller put the Cru back on the powerplay. Ty Mueller quickly put a huge rebound into an open net after the initial shot from Reid Irwin, Jarred White also had an assist on the play.
Before they even finished announcing the last goal, Jacob Franczak scored to give Sherwood Park a comfy 6-2 lead. Tanner Fincaryk with the lone assist.
A nasty hit from behind by Drumheller’s Steven Zonnevald gave the home team another 5 on 3 powerplay, Joel Patsey also got a roughing call on the play. Sherwood Park reacted which also sent Nicholas Magis to the sin bin, but the Cru didn’t add to their lead.
Once again, more rough stuff after the whistle in front of Carter Gylander. Drumheller’s leading scorer Kaden Hanas was given a misconduct after punching a Crusader in the face. Kobe Mohr also got a two for roughing after the whistle, to give the Crusaders another powerplay.
Michael Benning broke his stick in a shot attempt and raced back to the bench to grab another. He gave up as Drumheller heading into the offensive zone, without a stick Michael Benning broke up the play beautifully.
The Cru’s Davis Murray and Drumheller’s Grayson Dietrich both received misconducts with just 12 seconds left in the game, after more pushing and shoving after the whistle.
The Crusaders take home another win, with a final score of 6-2.
- The Crusaders penalty kill remains strong despite giving up two powerplay goals.
- Passing, especially on the powerplay, continues to be strong great puck movement from the powerplay units. A ton of great breakouts from the defensive zone as well.
- Carter Gylander looked great, making a ton of great stops to keep the Cru up, especially on the penalty kill. He finished the night with 31 saves on 33 shots.
- Michael Benning only had one assist on the night, but he made some awesome defensive plays. That one in the third without his stick was glorious.
- Ty Mueller had two goals and a helper, which earned him the first star on the night.
- Sherwood Park took way too many penalties, especially in retaliation and roughing after the whistle. They have a strong PK but they’ll need more discipline against stronger teams.
- The Cru’s leading scorer, Arjun Atwal, took himself out of the game with a 10-minute major for mouthing off to a ref. It was still a close game, not a wise move to take yourself out of it.
The Sherwood Park Crusaders wrap up their three-game homestand holiday Monday versus the Drayton Valley Thunder, puck drop is at 2:15 pm at the Sherwood Park Arena.
The Sherwood Park Crusaders kick off a three-game homestand over the Thanksgiving long weekend, starting Friday night versus the lowly Fort McMurray Oil Barons. Fort Mac comes into the game with a record of 3-5-1, they split a two-game homestand with the Spruce Grove Saints last weekend.
This week on #InsideTheCru Tyler Yaremchuk breaks down the Crusaders weekend road trip & talks to rookie forward Nick Magis.
This week on #InsideTheCru Tyler Yaremchuk recaps a highly successful first month of the season for the Sherwood Park Crusaders & talks with AJHL Player of the Month Carter Savoie.