CALGARY, AB (February 28, 2017) – The Brooks Bandits (48-5-4) scored early and often, breaching double digits in a 10-2 road win over the Calgary Mustangs at Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary on Tuesday night.
The win gave the Bandits the third-most wins in franchise history, eclipsing the 47 of the 2011-12 league championship team, and sitting just 1 win behind last year’s league championship team which had 49.
The Bandits opened the scoring 5:52 into the game on a power play when Oliver Chau (Oakville, ON) fed a pass through the crease for a backdoor tap-in by Dennis Cesana (Providence, RI). Parker Foo (Edmonton, AB) doubled that lead on a rebound goal off of a Joe O’Connor (Hamden, CT) point shot at 8:47, before Arnaud Vachon (Ajax, ON) deflected home another cross-crease pass from Chau at 10:45 to make it 3-0.
Conner Jean fired in a shot from the slot at 12:27, extending the lead to 4, but less than 40 seconds a later a turnover behind the Bandit net led to a Blaise Arkle shot into an empty cage to pull the Mustangs within three.
But less than a minute after that, Cale Makar one-timed in a shot from the right circle to give Brooks a 5-1 advantage after the first, with the team outshooting the Mustangs 22-6. Makar’s goal tied him with Maddison Smiley in 2012-13 for the team record for goals by a defenceman with 20.
In the second, the Bandits outshot Calgary 16-5 and scored three more times; the first a Chau goal on a back-and-forth rush with linemate Ty Mappin (Big Valley, AB) exactly two minutes in. On a Bandit penalty kill, a Parker Huebner (Leduc, AB) point shot produced a rebound for Vachon to hammer in for his second of the night shorthanded to make it 7-1.
Then, with 20 seconds left, Foo fired home his second of the game to give Brooks an 8-1 lead after 2; by assisting on that goal, Makar also tied the team record for assists by a defenceman, tying Chris Markiewicz with his 45th of the season.
Foo completed his hat trick 3:17 into the third to give Brooks the 9-1 advantage, before a power play rebound goal by Mathew Popowich at 7:49 made it a seven-goal deficit again. But just over halfway through the period, Makar charged in to the right circle of the Mustangs zone and ripped a wrister past goalie Mike Barabash to notch the 10-1 final score and set a new franchise mark for goals by a defenceman.
Alex Horawski (Toronto, ON) made 13 saves on 15 shots for his twelfth win as a Bandit.
The teams will meet again at the Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary on Wednesday night at 7:15 for the Bandits’ final road game of the 2016-17 regular season. Pre-game coverage begins at 7 o’clock on Real Country 105.7.
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