Bandits outshoot Saints but fall 6-3 in Game 2 of AJHL Final

Photo by Chad Goddard.

BROOKS, AB (April 22, 2023) – The AJHL Inter Pipeline Cup Final is tied 1-1 heading to Spruce Grove thanks to a 6-3 Saints win over the Bandits in Game 2 on Saturday at the Centennial Regional Arena.

Ethan Barwick (St. Albert, AB) made 19 saves for Brooks, Saints starter Jameson Kaine made 31 saves in his first start of the series. The AJHL Inter Pipeline Cup Best of Seven series is tied 1-1.

The series shifts to Spruce Grove for Game 3 (Tuesday, April 25th), and Game 4 (Wednesday April 26th), with live coverage available on Real Country 105.7 FM. Both games start at 7:00 pm.

Game 5 will be played in Brooks on Friday, April 28th, with tickets going on sale early next week.

Spruce Grove opened the scoring at 2:16, as forward Luigi Benincasa scored from the left circle. But Brooks tied the game quickly, as forward Caelan Fitzpatrick (Moose Jaw, SK) scored from the slot. However, the Saints retook the lead at 6:27 on the powerplay, as forward Liam Watkins cleaned up a loose puck and scored to make it 2-1. But Brooks once again tied the game, and in similar style as the Saints second goal, as forward Heath Armstrong (Calgary, AB) backhanded in a loose puck off a Brendan Poshak (Green Bay, WI) shot on the powerplay to make it 2-2.

The Saints retook the lead at 11:56 of the 2nd period, as forward Carter Oakenfold tapped-in an Ethan Leyer pass to make it 3-2. Defenceman Breck McKinley scored on a forehand shot at 13:21 to double the Saints lead to 4-2. But Brooks would get one back on the powerplay, as forward Aiden Fink (Calgary, AB) tucked in a shortside attempt on the powerplay to cut the lead to 4-3.

Brooks outshot Spruce Grove 12-7 in the 3rd period, but couldn’t tie. Isaac Abbott and Liam Watkins both scored empty net goals at 18:59 and 19:29 to seal the 6-3 2in.

Final shots were 34-25 Brooks.