Sherwood Park continues to dominate the AJHL North, coming into tonight’s game with a 15-1-0 record, winners of seven straight games. The Whitecourt Wolverines meanwhile sits in the middle of the pack, with a record of 7-6-2. These two teams met on Tuesday in Whitecourt, with the Cru coming out on top with a strong 5-1 victory.
Sherwood Park’s top line of Carter Savoie, Arjun Atwal, and William Zapernick continue to lead the league in scoring. Sherwood Park is winning games with some deep scoring though, in the past three games, 13 of the 14 Crusaders forwards have registered at least one point. Special teams remain deadly for the Cru; the powerplay leads the league at 28.21%, the penalty kill is suffocating opponents at 88.73%.
Carter Gylander gets the start for Sherwood Park and comes into tonight’s game with a 10-0 record 2.38 GAA, and a 0.913 save percentage. Whitecourt counters with Vincent Duplessis.
A tight start to the game with both teams landing some solid hits. Whitecourt spent more time in Sherwood Park’s end than vice versa, no solid chances from the Wolverines though. No one even registered a shot until around the 14:00 minute mark.
The Cru was the first to go on the man-advantage, after a 2-minute minor for high sticking. Some great passes and a few solid shots, but no one found the back of the net.
Sherwood Park limited Whitecourt’s chances and stayed out of the box (something they have struggled with at times this season), but a team with this amount of firepower should at least be getting more solid chances. Sherwood Park finishes the frame with 11 shots to Whitecourt’s 4, not a bunch of great opportunities for the Cru outside of the powerplay.
The Wolverines came out with speed in the middle frame, some great entries into the offensive zone, but no shots on goal thanks to the Cru’s stingy defenders and tight back-checking.
Sherwood Park was putting on the pressure with more great puck cycling and a couple of decent shots. It looked like the Wolverines got one past Carter Gylander, but the goal was waved off.
Seconds later, the Crusaders went on the powerplay for a second time after a hit in the corner by Whitecourt’s Adam Sandstrom on Jarred White. Sandstrom was given two minutes and 10-minute misconduct for a blow to the head.
A couple of nice looks on the powerplay for Sherwood Park, but they couldn’t capitalize.
Sherwood Park opened the scoring around the ten-minute mark, Davis Murray scored his first of the season on a juicy rebound from Brett Wieschorster, Reid Irwin had a helper on the play as well.
The Cru continued to pepper Wolverine’s netminder Vincent Duplessis, but the Quebec City product made some outstanding saves to keep his side in it.
The Wolverine’s weren’t getting many pucks to the net, but their second line evened the game at 1-1 just before the three-minute mark, Eric Perneel scored, with assists from Cole Carrier, and Nolan Doell.
The Crusader’s fourth line quickly answered back to close out the second period; Brett Wieschorster lit the lamp after a long cross-ice pass from Reid Irwin, Blake Sydlowski had an assist on the play as well.
The second period ends 2-1 for Sherwood Park. Whitecourt goaltender Vincent Duplessis is keeping the Wolverines in the game though. The shot clock reads 28-12 for the Cru heading into the final frame.
The Cru wasted no time in building their lead; Ty Mueller made it 3-1 just two minutes into the third period. Assists from Jarred White and Mathew Shatsky.
The Wolverine’s had a little more urgency in their game as the third went on, sending more rubber to the Cru’s net, but Gylander kept the door shut.
Whitecourt’s Hayden Clayton took a tripping penalty, but the Cru’s Carter Savoie took his own two-minute minor to give the teams some time 4-on-4.
Will Zapernick made it 4-1 for the Cru with four-minutes left in the game, Max Wutzke and Arjun Atwal had the helpers on the play. And that was it, the Wolverines didn’t give up with a few solid chances in the final minutes, but Sherwood Park leaves with the W.
Final score 4-1 for Sherwood Park over Whitecourt.
- A much more disciplined game for the Cru, I didn’t see any rough stuff after the whistles and no dumb penalties. They didn’t even take a penalty until the third period. A few powerplays could have made the difference for Whitecourt.
- The team’s passing continues to impress, even strength and on the powerplay. Sherwood Park’s puck movement is on another level.
- A strong night on the back end, it wasn’t until the third period when Whitecourt started to put more pucks on the net, and Carter Gylander was able to stop most of the solid chances.
- Gylander played great, making 25 saves and holding Whitecourt to just one goal.
- An excellent night for Brett Wieschorster, he finishes with a goal and an assist.
- Plenty of shots on net, but not too many quality chances for the Crusaders. Can’t really fault the boys when Whitecourt’s goalie played on his head.
- Ummm, I didn’t get my usual free beer from the bar after the game? Seriously, there’s not a lot of weak spots in the Crusader’s game.
Sherwood Park gets a day off ahead of Sunday’s matchup versus the Grande Prairie Storm. Puck drop is at 2:15, at the Sherwood Park Arena.