The Sherwood Park Crusaders and Spruce Grove Saints are used to following different paths, and did it again to get to the same place this season.
They’ll open the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s best-of-seven North Division semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday at Grant Fuhr Arena in Spruce Grove.
The Crusaders, who swept an AJHL playoff series for the first time in 11 years when they eliminated the Bonnyville Pontiacs in the opening round, got off to an 8-1 start in the regular season and then went on a roller-coaster ride until the last two months to finish fourth in the North Division with 29 wins and 61 points.
“This is our third year in a row in the second round,” said Sherwood Park general manager/coach Tim Fragle. “We want to be able to make that (next) step, although we know we’ve got a tough test against Spruce.”
The Crusaders haven’t advanced to the North Division final since 2003.
Meanwhile, the Saints won the Dave Duchak Trophy as the regular-season champion for the fourth time in the last six years by posting a 47-10-3 record for 97 points, but the first time since the 2010-11 season. Spruce Grove also won its fifth straight North Division title, despite starting the season slowly by winning only four of its first nine games.
Full Story from The Edmonton Journal