BROOKS, AB (March 9, 2018) – The Brooks Bandits got 5 goals from 5 different goal scorers, and Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON) stopped all 14 shots he faced, in a 5-0 home win over the Canmore Eagles on Friday night at the Centennial Regional Arena.
The win gives the Bandits a 2-0 series lead over the Eagles in their AJHL South Division Quarterfinal best-of-five series, with a chance to end the series on Sunday afternoon in Canmore in Game 3.
A scoreless first period in which the Bandits outshot Canmore 12-6 gave way to a dominant middle frame performance in which the defending league champions outshot their opponents 22-6 and converted four times.
The first came just 44 seconds into the period when rookie forward Louis Jamernik (Calgary, AB) skated from his own end all the way to Canmore territory, drove around a defender to the left side of the net and flipped a short side shot past goalie Thomas Davis for the eventual game-winning goal.
Just under two minutes later, a Dennis Cesana (Providence, RI) point shot was tipped onto Davis, creating a scramble in front in which Cale List (Petawawa, ON) chased down the loose puck at the top of the crease and flipped it into the roof of the net to make it 2-0.
At the 8:16 mark, a poke check by List in his own end deflected a puck down to the Canmore line, where Nolan Thompson (Calgary, AB) chased it down for a breakaway, flipping a backhand shot past Davis for a 3-0 Bandit advantage.
But just over halfway through the 2nd, a hooking penalty against the Bandits sent Canmore to a vital power play. But the penalty kill unit scored the dagger goal, as Pierre-Anthony Martineau (Sherbrooke, QC) stripped leading scorer Colton Young of the puck in front of the Canmore net, spun, and fired a wrister past Davis for a 4-0 Bandit advantage.
Brooks only allowed 2 more shots in the 3rd period, for a 43-14 three-period total, and converted once more, this time a power play goal when a Carter Wolski (Sexsmith, AB) pass from the right point came to Will Garin (Mound, MN) for a one-timer goal at the bottom of the left circle and a 5-0 lead on his second goal of the postseason.
The teams meet Sunday at 5 PM in Game 3 with broadcast coverage available on Real Country 105.7.