Crusaders 2 Bonnyville 3
Heading into tonight’s game both Sherwood Park and Bonnyville are on five-game losing skids and with only nine games left in the regular season, both teams need every available point. The Pontiacs currently occupy last playoff spot and have a healthy 13 point cushion between them and the last place team in the North, Drayton Valley. The Crusaders are sitting in fifth and have back-to-back games this weekend, Sunday they take on Fort McMurray, who is ranked 2nd by the CJHL.
Sherwood Park came out buzzing, making solid passes and spending a lot of time in the offensive zone. The Cru’s momentum seemed to slow down after Bonnyville’s Kirby Proctor spent two minutes in the box for cross-checking. After the kill, the Pontiac’s poured the pressure on. Michael Bentz took a penalty for interference, and just 49 seconds later Erik Miller was called for tripping, giving a two-man advantage to Bonnyville. The Cru gave up some solid chances but got through the power play unscathed.
Bonnyville broke the tie with a nice shot from the point by Luke Albert rebounding off the boards behind Cru goalie Brandon Vogel and potted in by Bobby Young, Bekkam Willis also had an assist on the play. Just seconds later, a scramble in front of Sherwood Park’s net and Garin Butler makes it 1-0, assisted by Joey Ray and Zach Aston.
Adding insult to injury Arjun Atwal took a four-minute high sticking penalty giving the Pontiacs another big power play. Bonnyville had a few solid chances, but the period ends 2-0 for Pontiacs. Still, 55 seconds to kill on Atwal’s penalty heading into the second.
Sherwood Park killed off the remaining 55 seconds, giving up a couple of decent chances. The Cru went on the offensive after Olson Werenka went to the box, two minutes for interference. The first unit had some solid chances, but the powerplay fell apart once the second unit took over.
The Cru started to look pretty sluggish in the middle frame, sloppy passes in the neutral zone lead to a few Pontiac shots on net. Crusaders finally got on the board with a beautiful snipe from Ryan Cox, Ty Readman got the play going streaking into the zone earning himself a primary assist, Brendan Kallis with an A on the play also.
More careless moves by Sherwood Park and with less than four minutes left in the second Bonnyville makes it 3-1, with a nice wrister from Adam Panacci, assisted by Charlie Gawlicki and Bobby Young.
Sherwood Park starts the final period down by two, and they came out pretty strong with a handful of solid chances. Pontiac Austin Saint took a nasty boarding penalty, earning himself 10-minute misconduct and a two-minute penalty for boarding. The early powerplay allowed for more pressure from The Cru and some tense scrambles in front of Bonnyville’s net, but the game remained at 3-1.
The final frame started to get pretty chippy, a lot of late hits and cross-checks, Sherwood Park needs to keep things clean if they hope to tie it up. Justin Travis was impressive, especially in the third period. What he lacks in size he makes up for in athleticism, some truly incredible sprawling saves kept Bonnyville on top. The kid is only 16 too!
Sherwood Park finally cracked Travis, Ty Readman making it 3-2 with nine minutes left in the third. No assists on the goal. Bonnyville came right back though with several great chances, but a few lucky bounces and some great work by Vogel kept Sherwood Park in the game.
A give away in front of Brandon Vogel was broken up with a crushing hit from Brendan Kallis. The officials talked for awhile, but there was no call on the play. It looked clean from where I was hitting and the Pontiac had his head down right in the slot.
Both teams have a couple of good chances as the final few minutes go back and forth unfortunately Sherwood Park doesn’t capitalize.
- Sherwood Park played a very physical game
- Limited Bonnyville to 25 shots, but they didn’t get a lot of shots either
- Penalty Kill was great going 5 for 5, including a long 5 on 3 kill and a 4-minute penalty kill in the first
- The score could have been much worse, Brandon Vogel bailed the boys out many times
- Giving up two weaker goals in the first is not a winning formula
- A lot of dumb penalties by The Cru, they need to play more disciplined
- Sherwood Park gave up a ton of 2 on 1’s and 3 on 1’s
The Crusaders are at home to one of the best teams in the country, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons are in town. puck drop at 2:15.