BROOKS, AB (November 20, 2021) – Brendan Mairs scored a late 2nd period goal to break a 2-2 tie and the Brooks Bandits didn’t surrender the lead, beating the Lloydminster Bobcats 5-2 on Saturday at the Centennial Regional Arena.
Forward TJ Hughes (Mercyhurst) scored twice, including an empty netter, while goaltender Ethan Barwick made 22 saves as the Bandits (23-1-1) have won three straight games and remain in 1st place in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Lloydminster opened the scoring, as forward Tanner Fincaryk found a loose puck off a point shot and scored to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead 5:11 into the game. But Brooks would tie, as forward Ryan McAllister (Western Michigan) wristed a left circle shot on a setup by Hughes at 10:34. Forward Devin Phillips (Holy Cross) created the chance with a pass off the right wall and recorded his 100th career AJHL point with the assist. Shots were 16-13 Brooks in the 1st.
Brooks got their first lead of the night just 1:32 into the 2nd, as defenceman Dominick Campione (Arizona State) tapped in a McAllister pass to the net front to make it 2-1 Bandits. But the Bobcats would tie, as Nik Hoogendoorn cleaned up a loose puck off a Chad MacLean shot to make it 2-2 at 7:00. In the final minute of the period, Bandits defenceman Zach Bookman (Merrimack) skated behind the Bobcat net and found Mairs open in front, who tapped in the 3-2 goal to give Brooks the lead after 40 minutes. Shots were 16-4 Brooks.
The Bandits doubled their lead to 4-2 a the 6:30 mark of the 3rd as Hughes completed a tic-tac-toe play from McAllister and Phillips. Then with 11 seconds left in the game and the Bobcats net empty, Hughes would score again, making it a 5-2 final. Shots in the 3rd were 12-7 Brooks and 44-24 overall.
Postgame comments from Asst. Coach Evan McFeeters
The Bandits head on the road for three straight games starting Tuesday in Calgary against the Canucks. Game time is 7:00 pm at Henry Viney Arena. That’s followed by a North Division road trip that will see the Bandits visit the Grande Prairie Storm on Saturday, November 27th (6:00 pm) and Whitecourt Wolverines on Sunday (November 28th) at 2:30 pm. All games can be heard on Real Country 105.7 FM.