OKOTOKS, AB (August 29, 2015) – Josh Davies (Guelph, ON) pitched a 24 save shutout, and Nick Prkusic (Medicine Hat, AB) scored the game’s only goal, as the Brooks Bandits (2-1) downed the Okotoks Oilers (1-2) by a 1-0 final score in the final game of the Oilers’ annual pre-season tournament on Saturday night.
Coming off of a 6-5 loss Friday to the Calgary Mustangs in which they never led, the Bandits struck early at the 9:34 mark of the first period, when Prkusic was found alone in the slot on a centering pass from Bandit newcomer Logan Aasman (Medicine Hat, AB). The sophomore Bandit’s low shot beat goaltender Riley Morris for the eventual game-winner.
Forward Austin Wright (Niagara Falls, ON) received the second assist on the play, giving him a total of 6 points (4 goals, 2 assists) in 3 games on the weekend to lead the team.
After outshooting the Oilers 11-4 in the first, the Bandits were outshot 11-10 in the second, and outshot Okotoks 13-9 in the third, en route to a 34-24 total shot lead. But Davies, after only allowing 1 goal in his preseason debut on Thursday against Drumheller, shut the door throughout for the clean sheet.
Both teams went 5 for 5 on their respective penalty kills.
“I don’t necessarily think we loved a lot of things about our team tonight,” said Bandits head coach and general manager Ryan Papaioannou. “We competed a lot harder than yesterday, but offensively we had no punch; we didn’t put a lot of quality chances together.”
The Bandits completed the weekend outscoring their three opponents by a 17-7 margin. They will return home to the Centennial Regional Arena for an exhibition affair with the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Kindersley Klippers on Wednesday night at 7:00 PM.
Following that, the team will travel to Penticton, British Columbia for two games against the defending British Columbia Hockey League’s Vees on Friday and Saturday nights.
“We just need to be on the ice,” Papaioannou added. “We need to work on systems; our work ethic has been pretty good, it’s just a matter of getting guys on the same page.”
“It’s a long process; we want to be real, real good at what we do in about eight months, and to think we’re going to be perfect in August and September is not right, but at the same time we have to keep seeing steps forward.”
Admission to Wednesday night’s pre-season home opener is only $5 at the CRA; but all Bandit season ticket holders receive free entry.