FINAL SCORE: Sherwood Park Crusaders 4 Lloydminster Bobcats 3
After a high scoring affair earlier in the week in Camrose, the Crusaders kept the offense going early. They jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first thanks to two goals from Alex Rotundo and the highly effective second line.
Things started to slip away in the second period after Austin Schmoorkoff dropped the mitts and one punched a Bobcat. That seemed to pull the Cru off the rails a little bit as they gave up a goal on the ensuing powerplay, then shortly after Captain Ben Sowa took a undisciplined double-minor which could have costed them the lead. But stellar goaltending from Zac Klassen and a huge short-handed goal from Arjun Atwal saved the game.
With the two goal lead restored, Sherwood Park cranked it up a notch in the 3rd. They were all over Lloydminster and kept the Bobcats pinned in their end for most of the final frame. A late power play goal by the Bobcats gave them a bit of a scare, but the Cru managed to hang on and take this one. This is a team that they need to beat, so it’s a big 2 points.
- The team was cycling the puck well in the offensive zone. Especially the 3rd line. They impressed me early.
- Dykstra-Rotundo-Younghans were rolling for a second straight game, chipping in two goals in the first.
- Ashton Casault was driving the net hard, he was a thorn in the Bobcats side.
- Crusaders won the possession battle in the 1st, attempting 27 shots, while Lloyd had 25. A 52% Corsi for the Crusaders.
- Austin Schmoorkoff’s fight ended up costing them a goal, but at least he won the tilt. So that’s a positive.
- I was impressed with Tanner Younghans on the penalty kill. Thought he was a big reason why the Crusaders were able to hold onto their lead.
- Zac Klassen had himself a very good game. A good bounce back for him as he looks to grab back the starting job.
- Tyler Maltby grabbed an assist and extended his point streak to 6 games.
- They came out in the third and got back to their dominant cycle game and kept the pressure on the Bobcats. The best defense is not letting your opponent touch the puck and that’s exactly what the Cru did.
- The team had a good physical element going tonight, especially the 3rd line. I loved the grit they were showing.
- The powerplay didn’t score on their 1 attempt, but looked very deadly. They generated a tonne of chances.
- The team lost focus late in the second after the Schmoorkoff fight and it costed them a goal. They’re lucky that Sowa’s double minor didn’t cost them the whole lead.
- The cycle game died off in the second period.
- They struggled transitioning out of their end. The defense made too many sloppy breakout passes. They go through stretches where they carry the puck cleanly, but need to show a little more consistently.
- This was close to a full 60 minute win, but they still got some lucky breaks, if they want to be competitive with the top caliber teams in this league, they need to piece together full games. They almost blew it late.
THE TURNING POINT
The turning point was almost the penalty trouble the Crusaders got into, but Arjun Atwal saved the game with his short handed tuck with 40 seconds left in the second period. The game was starting to slip away and Lloyd seemingly had all the momentum, but a simple block shot followed by a great rush by Atwal ended up being the biggest difference maker.
The Cru head to Drayton Valley to take on the Thunder this Wednesday. The Thunder are 3-11-4 on the year and sit in second last in the AJHL’s North Division. The Cru will look to continue to take advantage of the weaker opponents they’ve been facing and extend their win streak to 3!