FINAL SCORE: CRUSADERS 5 THUNDER 2
MAKE IT 5! The Crusaders keep the streak alive with a 5-2 win over the Drayton Valley Thunder! It was an ugly start for the home team tonight as the Crusaders were struggling to make a simple pass. However, the Thunder only capitalized on one of the many Crusaders mistakes and as Sherwood Park got going a little more you could tell which team is struggling to stay out of the league’s basement. Sherwood Park brought it in the last two periods and ended up outshooting the Thunder 35-27. It wasn’t a full 60, but regardless a win is a win and this is turning into quite a little streak for the Cru.
- Cru was good in the faceoff circle, winning 75% of the faceoffs.
- The penalty kill was good when called upon, limiting the Thunder to only a few outside chances.
- The powerplay didn’t get a goal, but it brought a ton of pressure. If you win the special teams battle you can usually win the game, and it worked for the Cru tonight.
- Tyler Maltby is on another level. His shot on the first goal is a prime example of why he’s going to be a division one college player next year.
- Arjun Atwal gets my hardest working Crusader tonight, he was buzzing all night and showed some great patience to drag the puck into the slot and get a shot off for the second goal tonight.
- Matt Berlin made his debut and he was excellent this afternoon. He didn’t get rattled by a weird goal early on and made some key stops in the third period to keep it a one-goal game.
- Ty Readman made a really good read to find Atwal in the slot for his second of the game. When the top line is clicking they’re on a level that no one in the league can match.
- Koletrane Wilson had a strong game. He moved well, didn’t make any glaring mistakes and absolutely destroyed Connor Mowatt in the third period.
- The physicality was awesome tonight, keeps the momentum on your side when you can throw a few big hits.
- They outshot Drayton Valley 35-27.
- An absolutely horrendous start to the game by the whole team. In the first period alone I counted at least 10 turnovers/missed passes on their end of the ice.
- The first goal was a prime example of the slow start, all 5 skaters were standing still allowing Drayton Valley to take a few jabs at the loose puck.
- The offense came later in the game but wasn’t there early. The Cru need to bury their chances.
- Staying disciplined is a tough thing for this team, they’re lucky they have such a strong penalty kill.
- The transition game needed to be there early, it’s been a problem for a few games I’ve seen.
- This team still struggles to put together a complete 60-minute effort, if they can figure that part out they can beat any team in this league.
THE TURNING POINT
Tyler Maltby’s shorthanded goal later in the first seemed to have shot some life into the Cru. That penalty kill easily could have swung into a 2-0 Drayton Valley lead, but Maltby showed off his tremendous shot and got the ball rolling for the Crusaders.
Next Friday is the start of the Movember home and home series against the Spruce Grove Saints. They will face-off in Sherwood Park at 7 pm and tickets are only $5 to help raise money for Movember. So head down and check out one of the biggest rivalries in the AJHL. The Cru will be looking for their 6th win in a row, while the 16-5-2 Saints look to continue their own streak and continue to climb up the North Division standings.