Crusaders 5 Lloydminster 3
It was the first meeting between these two North Division of the season
The Crusaders were looking get back to winning ways following a loss to Drumheller on Friday night. As for the Bobcats, they were coming off a 2-1 OT victory over the Canmore Eagles.
Here’s how this one went:
The Crusaders came out the gate and poured shot after shot onto the Bobcats net minder Pierce Diamond. That’s something they couldn’t do Friday night against the Dragons. Nice to see the improvement and adjustment from them.
The most noticeable player on the ice was the newly acquired Erik Miller. He’s a fast skilled forward who causes the opposing defencemen trouble every time the puck is on his stick. Around the 8 minute mark, Miller came close to getting his first Crusaders goal after he tipped a shot from the point directly onto the post. However, the former Blazer kept coming and would eventually snap one passed Diamond to give the Crusaders a 1-0 lead. A much deserved goal.
The home side also limited the Bobcats to only nine shots. They got in front of shots and clogged the lanes well which made it very easy on rookie net minder Brandon Vogel.
Heading into the first period the Crusaders had a 1-0.
The Crusaders couldn’t of got off to a better start in the second.
Just three minutes in Oszytko and Readman found themselves on a two-on-one and they made no mistake. Readman set Osztyko up perfect for his eighth goal of the season and the Crusaders second of the game.
Almost immediately after, Jake Franczak intercepted the puck then went in one-on-one and slotted one right side for off Diamond for his first Crusaders goal! Again, a well deserved goal from a player that has been consistently good for this team.
Lloydminster pushed hard to get back into the game, but Brandon Vogel was having none of it. He made save after save and the Bobcats were left with no answer.
To finish off the period, Ty Readman was sent on a breakaway following a great pass from Tyler Pang; who’s been a real diamond in the rough pick up for the Crusaders. Readman then casually slid the puck home for the Crusaders fourth of the game.
At the end of the second the Crusaders held a 4-0 lead.
In the final 20, the Bobcats really stepped up their game and started to cause the Crusaders a few problems. Just over three minutes into the period, Zach Kaiser ended Vogel’s hopes of a shutout and got his team on the board to make it 4-1.
However, that goal didn’t steer the Crusaders of their path to victory as they added another one shortly after. Again on the power play, Erik Miller scored an almost identical goal to his first to give his team their four goal lead back.
Lloydminster would make it a little interesting with two late goals from Zach Webb, but the Crusaders were able to hang on and get their second home victory of the season.
- Vogel was solid tonight. It was unfortunate not to see him a record a shut out because he defiantly played well enough.
- Erik Miller was phenomenal in his Crusaders debut. He moved the puck really well and showed off his lightning speed. Miller will be an exciting player to watch for the remainder of the season.
- This was the first time that the Crusaders have played a full 60 minutes against a competitive team. If they could play at this level every night they wouldn’t have as many issues against the Spruce Groves and Whitecourts of the world.
- They finished 2 for 3 on the powerplay. The puck was moved well and they did a good job at creating traffic in front of Pierce Diamond.
- They play themselves into bad situations occasionally. They’ll be times when all they need to do is wrap the puck around the boards, but instead they’ll attempt to skate it down the ice. It doesn’t work very often. Obviously they’ll learn to make the simple play, but as for now they’re simply not doing that.
- In the first period, they got caught chasing the puck a few times. The Bobcats weren’t able to take advantage of that luckily.
- they allowed the Bobcats to become more comfortable offensively. In the first period, they only allowed the Bobcats 8 shots which they then doubled in the second. They were unable to stop them, but they could’ve dominated this game more than they did.
The Crusaders will be up against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons on Saturday night. The Oil Barons currently sit at the top of the North Division with a 10-1-1 record.