SHERWOOD PARK, AB – The Sherwood Park Crusaders won their fourth game in a row with a wild 7-6 overtime victory over the visiting Calgary Canucks on Saturday night at the Sherwood Park Arena.
Things got off to an interesting start as five minutes into the game Crusader Defenseman Ben McLeod collided with Canuck Forward Tyler Petrie inside the Sherwood Park zone along the boards, resulting in a pain of glass shattering.
The incident caused a 15-minute delay.
When play resumed, the Crusaders dominated in the shot department but it was the Canucks drawing first blood with Forward Jackson Steele opening the scoring off a Crusader miscue in their own zone.
The Crusaders would respond late in the first, with two goals as Ryan Cox would score his 36th of the season with one minute remaining in the period, while Defenseman Tyler Jette would give the Crusaders their first lead with six seconds remaining in the first.
Sherwood Park would add to their 2-1 lead in the second period as Erik Miller scored a short handed marker just over three minutes into the middle frame, giving the Crusaders a 3-1 advantage.
Shades of the Crusaders meeting with the Canucks on January 20th that saw Sherwood Park blow a 3-1 lead, came to the forefront on Saturday as the Canucks were able to score two quick goals 11 seconds apart near the 4:30 mark and then regain the lead at 11:26.
The Crusaders would respond late in the second with a power play goal off the stick of Forward Tyson Gruninger, who scored his first of two on the evening with 20 seconds remaining in the middle frame.
After Calgary had once again taken over with the lead early in the third period, Gruninger would score his second goal on a breakaway at 8:10.
Sherwood Park looked like they were going to take this game in regulation when Dylan Stewart would score his 31st of the season at 18:18, but the Canucks were able to force overtime as Jordan McConnel tied things up at six with 52 seconds remaining in the hockey game and with the extra attacker.
Overtime saw the teams trade possessions a few times as both teams have players with excellent speed, but it would be Defenseman Tyler Jette scoring his second of the game and the game winning goal at 3:33 into overtime to clinch the win for the Crusaders.
Affiliate Goaltender Ben Rishaug earned his second career AJHL victory in his first AJHL start as Brandon Vogel was given a rest day after failing to finish Friday’s game against Lloydminster due to injury.
Rishaug stopped 32 of 38 Canuck shots.
A total of six Crusaders had multi-point games in the 7-6 win as Sherwood Park moved to 26-29-2 on the season and sit a point back of the Grande Prairie Storm for fourth place in the Viterra North Division.
Sherwood Park will be scoreboard watching Sunday as Lloydminster trails the Crusaders by seven points for that fifth spot and will host the Storm at the Centennial Civic Centre.
A single point or a Lloydminster loss, whichever comes first, will clinch fifth for the Crusaders, while fourth place in still a possibility, Sherwood Park will need a little bit of help in the final week of the season.
The Crusaders are next in action Wednesday as they travel to Lloydminster to face the Bobcats for the sixth and final time in 2017-18.
BOXSCORE: Crusader 7 Canucks 6 (OT)
VIDEO: Post Game Wrap
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