Sherwood Park, AB: The Sherwood Park Crusaders closed out their second round on Sunday night with a 5-3 victory over the Fort McMurray Oil Barons defeating them 4-2 in their best of seven series. Sherwood Park now moves onto the North Division Final for the first time since the 2002/03 season to take on the Spruce Grove Saints.
The series began back on March 15th at the Sherwood Park Arena when the Crusaders returned from their bye week. Sherwood Park crushed Fort McMurray 4-0 playing one of their best full 60-minute games of the season with goals coming from Garrett Clegg, Arjun Atwal, Tanner Fincaryk, and Cameron Aucoin. Between the pipes, Matt Berlin was sensational making 34 stops to secure his first career postseason shutout.
The following night, the Oil Barons were seeking redemption and came out flying scoring the first goal of the game seven minutes in from Ryan Conroy. Sherwood Park responded well when Jack Hamly scored his first goal against his former team to tie the game up at 1-1. Chad MacLean and Garrett Clegg also got on the scoresheet for their respective teams, but two third period goals from Jarred White gave the Oil Barons a 4-2 victory and tied the series up at 1-1.
The series then headed north for games three and four at the Casman Centre.
The Crusaders would leave on Tuesday night with a 3-1 series lead following a 4-3 overtime victory on Monday thanks to a Carter Savoie game-winner, and a 2-1 win the next night after Garrett Clegg netted the winning goal midway through the second period.
Sherwood Park looked the close out the series in game five at the Sherwood Park Arena. With over 30 minutes played, the Crusaders found themselves down 2-0 to the Oil Barons with the travelling team getting goals from veterans Kole Gable and Liam Izyk. Sherwood Park came crawling back, however, when Zach Kaiser and Reid Irwin got on the board to tie the game up at 2-2. Despite the huge momentum swing, Fort McMurray would win the game in overtime after a point shot from Taner Miller beat Matt Berlin to extend the series to six games.
Now in game six, a three-goal third period by the Crusaders ended the series giving the number one seed a 5-3 victory on the night and 5-3 series win. Sherwood Park got goals from Arjun Atwal, Zach Kaiser, Jacob Franczak x2, and Jack Hamly as they moved onto the North Division Final to face the Spruce Grove Saints.
That series gets underway on Friday night at the Sherwood Park Arena. Tickets are available for that game right here.
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