BROOKS, AB (January 7, 2017) – The Brooks Bandits (30-3-4) scored early and often on Saturday night, downing the visiting Canmore Eagles (21-14-4) by a 7-1 final score in front of a crowd of 1,313 at the Centennial Regional Arena.
Brooks scored five times in the first period, outshooting the Eagles by a whopping 37-13 margin in the opening two periods combined.
With the win, the Bandits remain in first place in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), having registered their 8th consecutive win, and staying 6 points ahead of second-place Whitecourt with 3 games in hand on the Wolverines.
Less than a minute into the game, a Canmore defensive zone turnover allowed Parker Foo (Edmonton, AB) to drop a puck back to Josh McKechney (Calgary, AB), whose crossbar-ringing shot was ruled to have rocketed down behind the Canmore goal line to give Brooks the early lead. On a subsequent power play, a Dennis Cesana (Providence, RI) point shot rocketed past goalie Thomas Davis to extend Cesana’s point streak to 8 games and double the Brooks advantage.
Before the period was out, captain Nick Prkusic (Medicine Hat, AB) added one, deflecting a David D’Agostino (Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON) point shot to make it 3-0, before Nathan Plessis (Salmon Arm, B.C.) added a rebound goal off of a Cale Makar (Calgary, AB) shot, and Tyler Carangelo (Hamden, CT) fired a sharp angle power play goal in from the bottom of the right circle to make it 5-0.
In the second, Makar got his own goal on a power play wrister from the slot, before Logan Ferguson got the Eagles on the board, sneaking a right circle shot past an otherwise perfect Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON), who stopped 20 of 21 shots for his 19th win in 22 games as a Bandit. He now leads the AJHL in both goals against average (1.73) and save percentage (.927).
The final goal was of the highlight reel variety, as a desperation poke check on the penalty kill by Arnaud Vachon (Ajax, ON) speared the puck to a streaking ahead Parker Foo (Edmonton, AB) who outraced the Canmore defence and fired a breakaway shot past Davis for a shorthanded goal and a 7-1 final score.
The Bandits went 3 for 11 on the power play, and a perfect 11 for 11 on the penalty kill, with both Makar and Foo leading all scorers with 1 goal and 3 assists each on the night.
The Bandits remain home for the next game, this coming Wednesday night at the CRA against the Olds Grizzlys. It’s Wild Wednesday, with tickets and beer both half price for the night. Tickets are available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca, with puck drop scheduled for 7:00 PM.
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