Sherwood Park Crusaders 4 Whitecourt Wolverines 1
The Sherwood Park Crusaders were on home ice tonight against an opponent they played just last Sunday in the Whitecourt Wolverines.
Carter Gylander got the start between the pipes, and in front of him, both Tyler Jette and Arjun Atwal made their return to the lineup.
Here’s how this one played out:
The Crusaders came out flying in the first period dominating the opening five minutes. The best of the chances fell to Jack Hamly who found himself clean through on goal but put it over the bar.
An error defensively led to Wolverines forward Tommy Cardinal getting a clear opportunity on Carter Gylander. Cardinal made no mistake going high on Gylander to give the Wolverines a surprising 1-0 lead. Whitecourt continued to put the pressure on the Crusaders building momentum from the goal. However, the Cru was able to withstand their attack and not allow another one in the period.
The Cru was put shorthanded a couple of times but had the better chances. The best was from Will Zapernick. Arjun Atwal intercepted the puck on his blueline and carried the puck down the ice. He eventually laid it off to Zapernick who was robbed by Tye Morin in the Wolverines goal.
It was a strong second for the Crusaders with four lines rolling for the entire 20 minutes.
The addition of Atwal back into the lineup and on the second line really gives the Cru two first lines. That showed in the second.
Tye Morin stopped the Crusaders from getting back in the game with a couple of good stops on Atwal and Brandon Wallis early on. However, some great work behind the net from Hamly and a nice pass across the crease from Atwal was finished off by Zapernick to the game up at 1-1.
The Crusaders built up a lot of momentum from that goal and really outplayed the Wolverines from that point onwards.
It wasn’t long before it was 2-1 to the hometown when the returning Atwal ripped a hard wrist shot bar down on Morin. Again, him being back in the lineup is going to be massive for this team going forward.
Heading into the final intermission, the Crusaders found themselves up 2-1 over the Wolverines.
It didn’t take long at all for the Crusaders to make it 3-1. In fact, it only took them 36 seconds into the third period for that to happen.
Carter Savoie took a shot from right side of the faceoff circle by the boards and somehow managed to find a gap. I am not sure how many players in the AJHL would’ve seen the opening he did.
Shortly after, Savoie was in the play again this time getting called for charging. The ensuing powerplay for the Wolverines was actually dominated by Sherwood Park shorthanded. The Cru didn’t have many chances but stopped the Wolverines from having much possession of the puck. Their penalty kill was solid all night.
The scoring was wrapped up with a little under 10 minutes to go in the game. The first line of Clegg-Bowman-Savoie played a great little passing game down the ice which was finished off by Clegg. Clegg showed great patience to wait out the defenceman and pick a spot right over the shoulder of Morin.
- All four offensive line was great tonight. The depth this team has up front in unbelievable, and that’s even with Jacob Franczak and Zafir Rawji both sitting this game out.
- Carter Gylander was solid and made the saves he needed too. He was unfortunate on the first goal. There wasn’t much he could’ve done.
- Brennan McDonnell was excellent tonight and played maybe his best game of the season. He was moving the puck well and made some good defensive plays. You could see he was very comfortable with the puck.
- Arjun Atwal and Tyler Jette both made their returns to the lineup tonight. The two of them made a great impact on the game at both ends of the ice.
- The first goal was a weak one by the defenceman. Kyle Fulton allowed Tommy Cardinal to get by him far too easily. The play could’ve been easily cleared, but instead resulted in a Wolverines goal and an early lead.
- Brett Wieschorster was down on the ice after a fight with Tommy Cardinal. He had to be helped off the ice by his teammates. Hopefully, he will be okay, and we wish him a speedy recovery.
- They only had a couple of powerplay opportunities, but the Crusaders were unable to gain anything from either. When you’re playing a team like Whitecourt, you should be able to capitalize on at least one.
The Crusaders play a home game tomorrow against the Bonnyville Pontiacs in Vermilion. The puck drops at 7:00 p.m. for that contest.