Blackfalds Bulldogs forward Tyler Wallace came up big for his team Tuesday night.
The 20-year-old looked like a man on a mission scoring in overtime to beat the Sherwood Park Crusaders 1-0 at Eagle Builders Centre.
Wallace took a pass from forward Brett Meerman in the neutral zone straight to the net.
While blocking the puck from a Crusaders defender, Wallace was able to create some separation and scored on the backhand through the goaltender’s five-hole to secure the victory.
“I was getting grabbed from behind as I was trying to power through. I chipped the puck to myself and just went to the net,” Wallace said. “It turned out well.”
Wallace is not new to scoring goals this season, in fact, he sits fourth in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with 23, just five short of Brooks Bandits’ Dario Beljo.
This was their first matchup with the Crusaders this season with one more on the road on Feb. 20.
In net, goaltender Matthew Hennessey got his first shutout of the year with 18 saves. On the other end of the ice, Crusaders goaltender Erick Roest stood on his head to make 46 saves.
Next up for the Bulldogs is a two-game set against the Okotoks Oilers on Friday, Jan. 6, and Saturday, Jan. 7. The first will be played at Eagle Builders Centre in Blackfalds, and the following night in Okotoks. Both will begin at 7 p.m.
“We played really well but we need to score a few more goals if we’re going to beat Okotoks. Those two games we have next are huge in the standings. We could take over second place with those so we’ve got to be locked in for the weekend.”
The Bulldogs improved their record to 22-14-1-2 in their return from Christmas break. They sit in third place in the AJHL’s South Division tied dead even with 47 points behind the second-place Oilers.
The Bulldogs played the Oilers on the road on Nov. 8 but fell 7-4. This time around the Bulldogs are hoping for a different outcome.
“Last time we played them we weren’t great defensively,” Wallace said. “We had a lead and we ended up blowing it so this time we just need to get up early and keep the lead.”