The Lush Effect


There’s a saying the AJHL “there is no easy win in this league”. In reality, when the top teams go up against the bottom feeders it’s inevitable who’s going to come away with the two points. For the majority of this season, the Drayton Valley Thunder have been one of those teams that were regarded for gifting points to everyone around the league.

Then on October 12th, Luke Lush was brought in from the Camrose Kodiaks to be the Thunders’ new number one goaltender replacing Shawn Parkinson. With Lush now between the pipes for Drayton Valley, they have become a much more competitive team; a team that doesn’t hand wins out anymore.

When Lush joined on October the 12th, Drayton Valley had a 2-14-0 record and was buried at the bottom of the North Division. Since then, the Lush Effect has been in full effect with the Thunder going 7-3-1 with wins coming against the Bonnyville Pontiacs, Okotoks Oilers, and Canmore Eagles. They also had a victory the Fort McMurray Oil Barons which was stripped from them due to having an ineligible player on their roster.

Over the past month, the Sherwood Park native has a 2.34 GAA along with 0.928 SV%. Due to his consistent performances, he’s been able to push the Thunder up the North Division standings. His numbers were the second best amongst starters in the north, trailing only to Matthew Davis (Spruce Grove Saints) who had a 1.40 GAA and a 0.941 SV% in five starts. Lush played in 10 games during that same period. They’re now seventh in the division with 17 points and just three points back of the Whitecourt Wolverines in sixth. That’s very impressive considering they were on a 12 game losing streak less than a month ago.

This year Drayton Valley Thunder team has the talent to start pushing up the standings. It was proven at the start of the year when they stunned the Sherwood Park Crusaders in back-to-back games, and it’s being shown again with Luke Lush between the pipes.