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Crude carry momentum into playoffs

By: By Alex MacPherson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 06:00 am

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  • St. Albert Crude played Edmonton Warriors Saturday afternoon in an intense game at Akinsdale Arena. The Crude's Daniel Pele is pressured by the Warriors' Taylor Yaremovich as he attempts a pass.
    St. Albert Crude played Edmonton Warriors Saturday afternoon in an intense game at Akinsdale Arena. The Crude's Daniel Pele is pressured by the Warriors' Taylor Yaremovich as he attempts a pass.
    APRIL BARTLETT/St. Albert Gazette
  • St. Albert Crude player Jacob Dion takes out Mackenzie Riesterer of the Warriors in front of the net.
    St. Albert Crude player Jacob Dion takes out Mackenzie Riesterer of the Warriors in front of the net.

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Best of Three Schedule

Friday, July 18 - 9:00 p.m.
Crude vs. SWAT at Akinsdale Arena

Saturday, July 19 - 6:00 p.m.
Crude vs. SWAT at Akinsdale Arena

Conditional:
Sunday, July 20 - 12:00 noon.
Crude vs. SWAT at Akinsdale Arena

The St. Albert Crude finish the regular season on a four game win streak and are looking to take that momentum into the playoffs.

The Crude finished in first place in the Junior B Tier One division in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League.

“I think this is the year of the Crude,” said head coach Terry Dokken. “We came close last year but I think this is the time we win it.”

Dokken credited the team’s success to the depth that they have. It was an injury-riddled season for the Crude but the team never missed a step.

“We’ve been playing without some of our top guys,” said Dokken. “A sore wrist here, a twisted ankle there… it adds up. But we have such an incredible group that whenever we have a hole someone steps up and fills it.”

The Crude is expecting to field a full team of healthy players for the playoffs. It will be the first time that has happened in six weeks.

“This is going to be the best team the Crude has fielded all year,” said Dokken. “A lot of teams like to game plan for us by shutting down one or two guys. They don’t understand how many threats we have on our bench.”

On Saturday night the Crude hosted the Edmonton Warriors in a battle for the top of the division. The Warriors didn’t have an answer for the Crude earlier this season and had lost both of their previous meetings.

The Crude’s Eric Hardinge opened the scoring early with a short-handed lone effort but the Warriors answered before the period was over. By the first intermission the Warriors were up 2-1.

The Crude’s special teams really shined in the second period and they pounded the Warriors with three four-on-four goals and power play goals to take the lead.

The Warriors couldn’t get the game back under control in the third and were unable stay out of the box. By the final whistle the Crude were up 11-5.

It was an important win for the Crude who had spent nearly three weeks in the middle of the season caught in a losing streak that threatened their place in the standings.

It was a difficult season at times, Dokken told the Gazette.

“We had high expectations for our team,” said Dokken. “The boys on this team have met every single one of those expectations. Our defence has been incredible. Our goaltending is the best in the league. We’ve been really proud to be coaching them.”

On Sunday night the Crude took on the struggling Sherwood Park Titans.

The Titans were looking for their third win of the season on Sunday but ran into trouble early against the visiting St. Albert team.

The Crude jumped all over the Titans and scored six goals before the first period was over. The Titans’ defence were pressured throughout the game and never found an answer for the attacking Crude.

The Crude took home the win in the last game of the season with a score of 14-6.


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