CRUSADERS 3 – KODIAKS 6
It was Hockey Hooky day at the Sherwood Park Arena as the Crusaders hosted a few sections of local students to take in their afternoon affair against the Kodiaks.
The Cru were looking to improve to 3-0 on the season after sweeping a home and home with Drayton Valley to start the year.
Here’s how things shook down:
The Cru fell behind the 8 ball early when Camrose capitalized on an incredibly weak Tyler Pang penalty. The Kodiaks offense didn’t stop there, as they put another one on the board before the game was 10 minutes old.
The Cru began putting some serious pressure on but once again, the Kodiaks broke back the other way and capitalized on some sloppy play by the Crusaders defense.
Ryan McKinnon was able to bring things back to within two when he finished off a nifty pass from Will Zapernick.
Despite a strong finish, the Cru couldn’t overcome a sloppy start and trailed heading into the 2nd.
Camrose squashed any momentum the Cru were looking to bring into this period, and they squashed it quickly. Brock Bremer extended the Kodiaks lead back to three and appeared to have put Camrose back in control.
After some extended pressure, the Cru eventually crawled back to a two-goal deficit thanks to a crafty goal by Ty Readman. He walked out of the corner and it honestly looked like Kodiaks goalie Griffin Bowerman had the entire net covered, but the Crusaders star somehow found a hole. A great goal that was accompanied by a nice celly.
Once again, Crusaders momentum was killed, this time by penalty trouble. A too many men call put them down 5v3 and Camrose, once again, extended their lead to 3 goals. This time they held onto it.
5-2 Camrose after 40 minutes.
A period that was easily won by the Cru in my eyes saw them putting up solid pressure throughout the entire frame. They killed off another Tyler Pang penalty and didn’t let it disrupt their flow.
Another powerplay opportunity was thrown the Crusaders way and this time they made it count. A great feed from Tyler Pang found Dylan Stewart backdoor for his first with the team, just like that, the deficit was cut back to 2 goals.
You cant say the Cru didn’t get chances to crawl back into this one, Camrose sent them on another man advantage, but Sherwood Park couldn’t bury any of the Grade A chances they created. With all the pressure they put up in the third, the turning point may have been the missed penalty shot by Brandon Wallis. He couldn’t even get a clean move off and if he could have scored, it would have been a 1 goal game with his team still on the powerplay.
Gotta give credit to Sam Burford as well, he wasn’t tested much in the later part of the game, but he kept this one close and made some timely saves when he had to.
In the end, these two teams were evenly matched, but the Crusaders just couldn’t bang home a goal when they needed it. Credit to Camrose as well, who were able to just hang on when they needed to and took advantage of some timely Sherwood Park mistakes.
An empty netter made this one a 6-3 final in favour of the visitors.
- Dylan Stewart had a really good night. He was strong in the faceoff dot and created a handful of scoring opportunities. The line of Stewart, Will Zapernick and Ryan McKinnon were really good tonight.
- Stewart was rewarded with a goal off a sweet feed from Tyler Pang on the powerplay.
- Despite a slow start, their PP kicked into gear with their later chances and the team really started cycling the puck well.
- Ty Readman showed off his creativity sliding home the team’s second goal. The Northern Michigan commit thinks the game better than anyone else out there.
- Although the stat line didn’t look good, I liked Sam Burford’s game. He made a bunch of really nice saves and I wouldn’t put the blame on him for any of Camrose’s goals. He also didn’t allow a goal during the final 25 minutes of this one. A very nice performance from the backup.
- 16 year Jacob Franczak had a solid night. Was good on the PK and brought good energy from the 4th line.
- The D core didn’t look good today. Out of position a handful of times and it cost the Cru a few goals. They have to be better if this team wants to compete with the big teams in the North Division.
- Camrose gave Sherwood Park 3 powerplay chances in the first period and the Cru didn’t score once. Generating early momentum is important, and their powerplay couldn’t do that today. They finished 1/7 with the man advantage, again, simply not good enough.
- The Cru took 5 minor penalties and gave up 2 powerplay goals. To put it simply, 40% is not good a good enough PK%.
- Tyler Pang took 3 minors today. The undisciplined play cost the Cru, and he was a big part of that problem.
- All the pressure is great, but you gotta bang home something. The Cru just couldn’t get that timely goal.
The defending North Division Champion Whitecourt Wolverines travel to the Sherwood Park Arena this Sunday. 2:15 start as the 2-1 Crusaders will do battle with a Whitecourt squad that’s currently 1-1-1 on the year, after losing twice to Spruce Grove to start the season. One thing these two teams have in common, their only wins to this point have come against Drayton Valley.
One player to watch is Jaedon Leslie, who has 4 points in 3 games to start the campaign.