April 8, 2023 (BROOKS, AB) – The Brooks Bandits built a 3-0 lead in the 1st, and added an insurance goal from Heath Armstrong in the 3rd, ending the Blackfalds Bulldogs comeback attempt, resulting in a 4-2 Bandits win on Saturday at the Centennial Regional Arena.
Aiden Fink, Dominick Campione and Ethan Beyer also scored for Brooks, while Ethan Barwick (St. Albert, AB) made 26 saves for the win. Brooks leads the Best-of-Seven South Division Final 2 games to 0.
Fink (Calgary, AB) opened the scoring at 9:49 of the 1st period, sliding a Sam Court (Winnipeg, MB) pass underneath Bulldogs starter Matthew Hennessey to make it 1-0 Brooks. The Bandits then scored goals 39 seconds apart. Campione (Kolher, WI) drove to the net to tap-in a Dario Beljo (Sudbury, ON) two-on-one pass to make it 2-0 at 13:07. Then at 13:46, Beyer sniped a high glove side shot on a pass from Brendan Poshak (Green Bay, WI) to make it 3-0 Bandits.
Blackfalds cut the lead to 3-1 at 9:34, as Connor Dick scored from the slot for his second goal of the series. Each team hit a post in the remainder of the period.
The Bulldogs cut the lead to 3-2 at 6:55 of the 3rd period, as Kurt Gurkan knocked in a loose puck in the Brooks crease. But with 3:17 left in the period, and with an offensive zone faceoff, centreman Caelan Fitzpatrick (Moose Jaw, SK) won it to Poshak, who passed from the corner to Armstrong (Calgary, AB) in front of the net, who tapped in the 4-2 goal.
Game 3 and 4 of the series goes Tuesday, April 11th, and Wednesday, April 12th, respectively, in Blackfalds. Game time is 7:00 pm, with live play by play available on Real Country 105.7 FM.