FINAL SCORE: SHERWOOD PARK CRUSADERS 5 Drayton Valley Thunder 3
It was the return of assistant captain Tyler Maltby tonight after missing five games due to suspension. The Cru started off their three-game home stand in the right way, they came out hard from the start and with a solid all-around performance.
The Valley did, however, give the Cru a run for their money and didn’t once give up on the game. Certainly didn’t play like a team sitting near the bottom of the north.
Starting with the first period, I thought the Crusaders finally came out hard to start the game which they usually allow their opponents to do. This hot start was reward with a goal from captain Ben Sowa who somehow managed to squeeze the puck by the goalie from a tight angle. The team did kill themselves with penalties, though, taking three in the first period alone. Luckily for them, Drayton Valley could only score once.
Again, in the second, the team started out well but this time the goal went the other way. This didn’t bother them, though, they immediately responded with a great line goal finished off by Alex Rotundo. The amount of chances they had was pretty ridiculous, they’ve got to start capitalizing on them.
We’ll call the third period the Tyler Maltby show because he came out to play. Maltby grabbed himself two goals in his return letting everybody know that he was back in business.
Overall, a great team performance but they should’ve closed this game out much sooner.
- Klassen had an excellent game in goal even though he did allow three goals, however, I wouldn’t place any of the blame on him.
- Defenceman Cam Reagan was once again a standout performer. He’s such a smooth skater, hits hard and creates offense from nothing. A great addition to the Crusaders roster.
- Brendan Stafford plays the penalty kill so well every single night. It seems like every game he produces takeaway after takeaway which leads to breakaways and great opportunities to score. Tonight, Stafford managed to get three chances, one on which we scored on and another where he drew a penalty shot and hit the post. A goal would’ve been well deserved tonight.
- The overall team performance offensively was great. The whole night to put the Thunder under pressure in their own zone and showed the goalie with shots.
- The game-winning goal was a work of art, a sweet tic-tac-toe play between Maltby and Rotundo which was finished off by Maltby.
- Torontow was not on his game tonight, it just seemed as if his head wasn’t in the game pretty much the whole time. He struggled to keep the puck in at times and caused a couple of turnovers. Torontow is a solid offensive defenseman for the Cru and I think we need to seem him play his game better.
- They gave up too many penalties tonight. If they had been playing a top team they would’ve paid for that.
- Shockingly, the penalty kill couldn’t seem to get organized. I usually have high praise for the Cru’s PK but they just allowed Drayton to have too many opportunities.
- This game should’ve been over long before it was, the Cru has got to make the most of their chances.
THE TURNING POINT
Once the second period got underway, the Crusaders pressed hard on the Thunder. Even though Drayton scored first, the team didn’t put their heads down scoring immediately after the play. Once that happened there was no looking back as the Crusaders went on to dominate the rest of the game.
This upcoming Friday, the Crusaders will be heading to Whitecourt to take on the Wolverines. Puck drop will be at 7:30 pm at the Scott Safety Centre.