Crusaders 5 Thunder 0
No Readman. No Pang. No Wallis and a lineup filled with affiliate players, yet the Crusaders still managed to pull out a victory tonight to making in three straight.
Here’s how it went:
It was a solid period for the Crusaders.
They started out well holding the majority of the possession in the Thunder end. That was until Garrett Clegg was called for roughing two minutes into the period, putting the Thunder on an early powerplay. Nothing resulted from the powerplay and with 50 seconds remaining on the odd man advantage, Thunder forward, Trevor Ayre was called for roughing giving us on some four-on-four hockey.
The game’s scoring opened up at the six-minute when Erik Miller slotted home his fourth of the season, giving the Crusaders a 1-0 lead.
Then with 20 seconds remaining in the period, Ryan Cox found Dylan Stewart on a two on one breakaway and Stewart made no mistake.
2-0 Crusaders after 20 minutes of play.
Sherwood Park dominated the second frame scoring two goals both from William Zapernick for his eighth and ninth of the season.
The Crusaders also spent the majority of the 20 on the powerplay with the Thunder being called on four separate occasions. With so many affiliate players in the lineup, a couple of them played a good amount of ice time on the powerplay, especially Connor Hart and Bryce Bader. Both calls up looked very impressive and moved the puck well and with confidence.
Even with two goals, it was a fairly quiet period with little mistakes from the Crusaders. They kept the Thunder at bay and allowed them to produce little offense.
It was a feisty third period with three fights on the card.
Michael Bentz was the first to step up to the challenge after rookie Marcus McEachran was hit hard in the neutral zone. On his next shift, Bentz let the Thunder know that the Crusaders won’t be standing for that. Great to see that from the rookie defenceman. The remaining two fights involved rookie forward Deklan Whillians and captain Brendan Kallis.
Aside from the fightings, the Crusaders played another good period of hockey. Drayton Valley defiantly brought the pressure but the home side was able to stand tall and not allow them to break through.
Sherwood Park would find the net one more time courtesy of Erik Miller at the 5 minute mark of the third.
- Brandon Vogel stopped at 30 shots to get his first shutout of the season.
- Connor Hart was the stand out affiliate. He played with a lot of confidence and didn’t look out of place ones on the ice.
- Bryce Bader also had a solid second game for the Crusaders.
- Good to see the players set up and defend each other. Fighting is obviously not encouraged but all three were necessary.
- Erik Miller was electrifying tonight. His offensive game has really been shining as of late. Going to be great to see him continue to develop for the Crusaders.
- Much like Miller, Eric Blanchette has been racking up the points as of late. Tonight he finished with three points.
- The Crusaders took to many penalties taking a total of four tonight.
- The powerplay went 0 for 6, however, they did have good puck movement.
The Crusaders travel north to take on the Grande Prairie Storm for the fourth time in their past five games. That game gets underway at 7:30 PM at the Revolution Arena.