Captain Arjun Atwal Wins AJHL Scoring Title, Gylander and Frey Earn Top Team Goaltenders Award –
The Sherwood Park Crusaders are the 2019-20 Alberta Junior Hockey League Regular Season Champions for the third time in franchise history. The Crusaders finished the season with a record of 49-9-0 following a 2-1 win over the Whitecourt Wolverines on Thursday night to clinch the Dave Duchak Trophy.
The annual League award is in the namesake of David Duchak, the first Commissioner of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). The organization last captured the regular season title in 2002-03.
The 2019-20 Crusaders are the winningest team in franchise history, setting new team records for both wins (49) and points (98). The offensively gifted team boasted the AJHL?s top two leading scorers in League MVP Arjun Atwal and NHL Draft Prospect Carter Savoie, while also allowing the fewest goals against (128).
Sherwood Park was ranked #1 in the CJHL Top 20 National Rankings for the final weeks of the season. In a record-setting campaign for the Crusaders, the team has already received League awards for MVP Ajrun Atwal, AJHL Outstanding Defenceman Michael Benning and AJHL Top Goaltender Carter Gylander as well as accolades for Head Coach Adam Manah as a Coach of the Year Finalist.
Crusaders Captain Arjun Atwal is the 2019-2020 AJHL Scoring Champion with 107 points and winner of the Ernie Love Trophy. The 20 year-old led the AJHL in both points (107) and assists (72) aided by a 22-game point streak dating back to December 2019.
The League MVP will leave the Crusaders as their second all-time in points scored. In four years, the centre has scored 86 goals and added 147 assists for a total 233 points. Atwal (Edmonton, AB) is just the fourth player in Crusaders history to hit the 100-point milestone and the third Crusaders player in AJHL history to win the AJHL Scoring Race.
The last time the 100-point mark was reached by an AJHL Scoring Champion was in the 2009-10 season.
Sherwood Park Crusaders goaltenders Carter Gylander and Jordan Frey are the recipients of the CCM Top Team Goaltenders Award, which is presented annually to the goaltenders of the team with the lowest goals against average (GAA) in the regular season. The Crusaders allowed just 128 goals against, crediting a 2.21 GAA to the Sherwood Park duo.
Carter Gylander led all AJHL goaltenders with a 2.07 GAA and .924 SV%. The 18 year-old concluded his second full season with the Crusaders at 34-5-0. Gylander (Beaumont, AB) represented the AJHL and Canada as a member of Team Canada West at the 2019 World Junior A Challenge and the 2019 Junior Club World Cup in Russia. Carter is a 7th round draft pick of the Detroit Red Wings and has committed to Colgate University (NCAA Division I) for the 2020-21 season.
Frey, 19, is in his first season with the Crusaders after being acquired from La Ronge (SJHL) in the off-season. The Saskatoon, SK native has played 21 games with a record of 15-4-0 and recorded two shutouts. Frey finished the year third in both save percentage and goals against average with a 0.913 SV% and a 2.35 GAA.
In 2002-03, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Shannon Szabados won the CCM Top Team Goaltenders Award as a member of the Crusaders, alongside fellow goalies Chris Denman and Brian Dafoe. This is the fourth time the Crusaders have won the award since their inaugural season in 1978-79.
The Crusaders have earned a Round One bye in the 2020 Inter Pipeline AJHL Playoffs, which begins this weekend. A complete schedule for the 2020 Inter Pipeline AJHL Playoffs is available on the AJHL website AJHL.ca.