FINAL SCORE: Sherwood Park Crusaders 3 Whitecourt Wolverines 8
There were a few unusual names on the game sheet tonight for the Crusaders. Blair Bush and Payton McIsaac lined up on the blue line for the Cru who were missing Ben Sowa, Koletrane Wilson, Jacob Thomas, and Ben McLeod tonight. Brandon Vogel also replaced Jake Morrissey at the backup tender position.
The Crusaders gave the Wolverines a very warm welcome to Sherwood Park by allowing them to dominate the first period. The boys did get on the power play early, the best offensive chances fell the Wolverines way when they scored shorthanded with three seconds left on the penalty. Whitecourt went on to grab themselves two more goals off the stick of Tschumi. The Cru did manage to get on the board when Payton McIsaac (AP) took a wrister from the blue which rebounded off the goalie but did find its way in after a scramble in front, finished off by Tyler Maltby. A disappointing period by the Cru who failed to maintain any possession or put much pressure on the Wolverines. The final score at the end of the first was 3-1 Wolverines with the shot count at 18-6 in favour of Whitecourt.
It was a much more lively start to the period for the Crusaders. Tyler Maltby had a huge chance but couldn’t get a clean shot away before the Wolverines defenseman caught up to him. After that, Chase Torontow got called twice for tripping within a span of five minutes, the Cru killed off both penalties. The Wolverines scored once again, courtesy of Lipon, and shortly after they got their fifth from Stevie Bryant. The game took a turn when the Wolverines got called for slashing, which the Crusaders capitalized on with a goal from Dykstra. Once that goal went in, the Crusaders found life and slotted home another courtesy of Reagan who lasered it passed Diamond. The period ended 5-3 to Whitecourt with all the momentum on the Crusaders side.
The Cru had a great opportunity to bring them within one when Dykstra went one on one with Diamond but couldn’t finish it off. On the same penalty kill, Shmoorkoff saved a for sure goal when he managed to get his stick in the way of a Wolverines shot in the crease. The Wolverines did eventually get their 6th though when Lipon slid it under Klassen’s pad. A mistake by Darcy led to Whitecourt’s 7th after he lost control of the puck, Brandon Vogel then entered the game. He put on a good performance and was unfortunate to concede the Wolverines 8th. After that, the referees lost control of the game. The frustration levels were high and Wolverines forward Tschumi took advantage of that. He got under the player’s skins which eventually lead to D. Zaharichuk receiving a 10-minute misconduct. His teammates Rotundo, Torontow, and Shmoorkoof all joined him shortly after for an early shower.
Overall, it was just one of those nights for the Crusaders. They couldn’t keep up with Whitecourt and failed to maintain any possession for the majority of the game. Also, it was extremely disappointing the way the game ended with so many players having to leave the game. You would hope that the referees would notice what was going on and stop it before it got out of control, that did not happen.
- Affiliate player, Payton McIsaac, was excellent in his Crusaders debut. At first, he was a little shaky but once he shook off the nerves and got into the game he made his presence known. He was a big part of the Crusaders first goal.
- Brandon Vogel came in and made some good saves for the Cru, stopping the score from getting any higher.
- The fourth line of Rebelato, Joel, and Wallis showed lots of energy tonight. Especially after the Wolverines first goal.
- Tyler Maltby created a number of chances and was unfortunate to only get one goal.
- The Cru didn’t back down physically. Obviously, it’s not good to have four players exit the game early but at the same time, it’s good that the players are going to stand up for each other.
- Once Dykstra’s goal went in the Cru gained momentum and ran with it until the period’s end. It was just too bad there wasn’t longer left in the period.
- The Cru had numerous chances but failed to capitalize on many of them.
- They had three players who affiliated tonight yet the veteran players were the ones making the mistakes. You’d hope that they’d step it up a notch with the younger guys in the lineup.
- Too many weak goals were allowed.
- Didn’t create enough shots. Even though they had some good scoring chances they still only had 21 shots compared to Whitecourt’s 53. They proved that when they shot they could score. The lack of consistent possession was also a big factor in the offensive chances.
THE TURNING POINT:
The Wolverines sixth goal killed whatever hopes there were of a comeback. After that, the game became more about who was going to get tossed next rather than who was going to score next. If the Crusaders could’ve come out hard to start the third I truly believe they could’ve won this game.
The Crusaders will be hoping to bounce back this Friday when they take on the Camrose Kodiaks. The game will be taking place here at the Sherwood Park Arena with the puck dropping at 7 pm.