Sherwood Park Crusaders 6 Grande Prairie Storm 4
First home game for The Cru after back-to-back games in Fort McMurray, finishing with one win and one loss. Dylan Stewart had a monster game with four goals, allowing Sherwood Park to cruise to a 5 – 2 victory. The Crusaders couldn’t keep that momentum going into the second game, however letting in two shorthanded goals in a 3 – 2 loss. Tonight they looked to extend their home win streak to six games.
Out of the top five league leaders in scoring, three of them play for Grande Prairie. Including top overall scorer Justin Bernier, who leads the league with 25 goals and 33 assists.
The last time these two teams met, Sherwood Park lost 6 – 2.
Here’s how it all played out.
Sherwood Park came out of the gate with an impressive forecheck. Grande Prairie really struggled to get the puck out their end. It all paid off quickly, just 1:30 into the frame with a goal from Dylan Stewart, assisted by Tyler Pang and Arjun Atwal.
Grande Prairie responded with a decent chance on goaltender Brandon Vogel. The Cru came right back, just three minutes later with a goal from Payton McIssac, his second career goal (his first career goal was at the last Cru home game against Bonnyville), helpers from Brandon Wallis and Ty Readman. Ty Readman’s assist puts him 12th all time in scoring for the Sherwood Park Crusaders.
Again The Storm did not deflate and responded with two quick goals. Just two minutes apart. First by Jonothon Hader, assisted by Tyrell Boucher. The second from Connor Blake, assisted by Walker Cote and Lukas Konashuk.
The Storm were now pressing hard. Several solid chances in the middle of the first period. Brandon Vogel made a few scrambling saves to keep things even. A power play for each team didn’t change anything either.
Ryan Cox Scored with 2:30 left in the frame with a nice wrister, beating Storm netminder Charles-Olivier Levesque glove side. Tyler Jette and Garret Clegg with the assists on the play.
Crusaders were up 3 -2 heading into the second.
Things were pretty quiet at the start of the second, but 4:39 in Ashton Casault scored with a beautiful backhand assisted by Brendan Kallis. Grande Prairie responded immediately, Edouard Michaud (fourth in league scoring) lit the lamp just over a minute later, Sean Thomson and Eric Sorensen with the assists.
The Cru looked like they could be in trouble with back-to-back penalties to kill, Garret Clegg got his second penalty of the night for tripping. Grande Prairie had some solid chances and didn’t let Sherwood Park clear once. After that once was over, Erik Miller went to the box for cross-checking. Again The Crusaders killed it off and even had a nice shorthanded chance.
Just seven minutes left in the period and Zachary Okabe tied things up with a helper from Connor Blake. The Crusaders responded by taking another penalty, a blatant trip by Payton McIssac. They killed this one off as well. though. Sherwood Park needs to play more disciplined, especially against such offensive teams like Grande Prairie.
Arjun Atwal had a ringer off the crossbar with just seconds to spare, but we end the frame all tied up 3 – 3.
Sherwood Park got a break 40 seconds into the final period, a power play following an elbow by Grande Prairie’s Noah Walters. The Cru needed to get a quick one to get momentum back on their side, and Garret Clegg did just that with another assist from Ty Readman.
Both teams seemed to tighten things up a bit in the third. Still some quality chances, with the goalies at both ends of the ice bailing out their teams.
Desperate for a tying goal Grande Prairie poured it on in the last half the frame. Sherwood Park struggled to keep it out of their end. Brandon Vogel kept The Cru ahead though with several key saves.
Grande Prairie’s John Sullivan laid a monster hit on Ashton Casault as he crossed the blue line. It was a pretty dirty elbow and looked pretty high. Casault was down for a few minutes but was able to skate off on his own power. Sullivan was given five minutes for charging and a game misconduct.
A five-minute power play to end the game, it looked like this one was in the bag for The Cru. A minute left on the clock The Storm made it a 5 on 3 power play with a tripping call courtesy of Connor Blake. Dylan Stewart took advantage of the 5 on 3 and scored putting this game away with just 26 seconds left on the clock. Ryan Cox and Arjun Atwal assisting on that one.
- The Cru spread the offence around with 6 goals from 5 different players
- Ten different players got their names on the scoresheet
- Brandon Vogel made 32 saves, he did let in 4 goals but most of them weren’t his fault
- Showed up for a pretty big win against a likely future playoff opponent, they’ve beaten Grande Prairie three times at home now
- Home win streak is now at six games
- Special teams were pretty good penalty kill went 6 for 6 and the power play was 2 for 4
- Too much time spent on the penalty kill, you can’t expect to win spending so much time in the box, especially against a team with 3 of the top 5 offensive threats in the league
- Sherwood Park really struggled to stop Grande Prairie from entering their zone
- Too many times Brandon Vogel had to bail out the rest of The Cru
Sherwood Park is in action tomorrow against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons.