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.