Sherwood Park, AB – The Whitecourt Wolverines (15-4-3) used a second-period surge on Saturday night to pick up their ninth straight win as they defeated the Sherwood Park Crusaders (9-12-1) by a score of 4-2.
The first period did not yield much in terms of scoring chances for either side though the Wolverines did find themselves on the power play on two occasions. The teams would ultimately enter the first intermission in a scoreless tie.
The second period was a much different story. Just 1:01 into the middle frame, Estian Coetzee broke the deadlock as he deposited a sweet setup from Ryley Smith to give the Wolverines a 1-0 lead. Just over five minutes later the Wolverines increased their lead after Mackenzie Harden had a one-time shot denied, Ben Evanish arrived on the scene to put home the rebound. Following that shift up, Harden would draw the third power play opportunity of the game for his team and this time it took just 16 seconds for the power play to strike as Tyr Thompson stepped off the goal-line and with pinpoint accuracy fired a shot short-side on Crusader’s goalie Brandon Vogel. The scoring would slow after that for the Wolverines. In the late stages of the period the Crusaders began to put together some sustained zone time and with a delayed penalty coming to the Wolverines, William Zapernick converted on a slap pass from Ben McLeod to cut the Wolverines lead to 3-1 heading into the third period.
The first half of the third period saw both goaltenders, Vogel for the Crusaders and Xavier Potvin for the Wolverines, trade sprawling pad saves to keep the score at 3-1. With just under eight minutes to play in the game, the Crusaders pulled to within a goal as Ryan Cox re-directed a McLeod point shot in the right-wing circle. Down to their final push, the Crusaders lifted Vogel for an extra attacker but it would not work as Liam Motley found the empty net to give the Wolverines a 4-2 win and their franchise record-tying ninth straight victory.
The Wolverines return to action Sunday afternoon as they pay a visit to the RJ Lalonde Arena in Bonnyville to battle the Pontiacs (9-8-4) at 2 p.m.
WCT Goal – 1:01 – Estian Coetzee(12) from Ryley Smith and Tyr Thompson (EV)
WCT Goal – 5:11 – Ben Evanish(11) from Mackenzie Harden and Stevie Bryant (EV)
WCT Goal – 6:26 – Tyr Thompson(9) from Ryley Smith(PP)
SP Goal – 17:43 – William Zapernick(5) from Ben McLeod (EV)
SP Goal – 12:07 – Ryan Cox(14) from Ben McLeod and Erik Miller (EV)
WCT Goal – 19:35 – Liam Motley(9) from Ryley Smith and Ryan Grant (EV/EN)
Shots – WCT 36 (12-11-13) SP 27 (6-13-8)
Power plays – WCT 1/4 SP 0/1
WCT – Xavier Potvin (12-3-3) 25sv/27sh
SP – Brandon Vogel (6-7-0) 32sv/35sh
Three Star Selection:
1. WCT-Ryley Smith (3 assists)
2. WCT-Tyr Thompson (GWG, 1 assist)
3. SP-Ben McLeod (2 assists)
Hardest Working Wolverine: Estian Coetzee (1 goal).
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